Angelene Falk confirmed as Australia’s new privacy czar

Appointed Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner for three-year term

Credit: OAIC

The government has appointed Angelene Falk as Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner.

Falk has been acting in the role since the departure in March of Timothy Pilgrim, who held the title of Australian Privacy Commissioner since 2010 and of Australian Information Commissioner since late 2016.

Falk’s three-year term began yesterday.

Falk joined the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in 2012. In 2016 she was appointed deputy commissioner.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said that Falk had played a “key role across business, community and government agencies on the implementation of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme,” which came into effect in February.

The OAIC last month released its second report on the scheme, revealing that malicious or criminal attacks accounted for the majority of data breaches reported to it in the three months to 30 June.

Along with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the OAIC is set to be a key regulator overseeing the operation of the new Consumer Data Right.

The CDR, which is yet to be legislated, will allow individuals to get access to data about them held by businesses. That data can then be shared with accredited third parties, potentially making it easier to compare products or shift to a new service provider.

The OAIC will also have a role in relation to the government’s proposed national facial recognition services, with the minister having to consult with the Privacy Commissioner before adding additional biometric types to the system.

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