Australia's Privacy Act establishes a mandatory requirement to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals of data breaches.
On February 13, 2017, the Australian Senate passed a bill establishing a mandatory requirement to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals of "eligible" data breaches. The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 amends Australia's Privacy Act 1988.
According to Global Legal Monitor:
A failure to notify that is found to constitute a serious interference with privacy under the Privacy Act 1988 can be penalized with a fine of up to ... AU$1.8 million ... (about ... US$1.37 million ...).
Section 26WG of The Act says breach notification is not necessary if “access or disclosure ... would not be likely to result in serious harm.” The section further states:
Access to, or disclosure of, information would not be likely [to result in serious harm] if a security technology or methodology:
(i) was used in relation to the information; and
(ii) was designed to make the information unintelligible or meaningless to persons who are not authorised to obtain the information