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Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Page: 2433

Senator STEELE-JOHN (Western Australia) (15:52): I move:

that the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) in 2013, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online, and it called upon all States to respect and protect the right to privacy in digital communication,

   (ii) social media and online platforms that base their businesses on customer surveillance and advertising are not respecting or protecting individuals' right to privacy,

   (iii) on 25 May 2018, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect, for all companies that hold data within or as a result of doing business with citizens of the European Union (EU),

   (iv) under the GDPR, consent must be explicit for data collected and for the purposes for which data is used, and individuals will have the right of access to their personal data and information about how this personal data is being processed, a right to request erasure of personal data related to them, and a right to be able to transfer personal data from one electronic processing system to and into another,

   (v) the GDPR will include a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 4% of worldwide turnover or 20 million Euro, whichever is higher, and

   (vi) the GDPR represents current best practice regarding standards for the protection of data and, as many Australian businesses will need to comply with the GDPR, implementing a similar regime in Australia would be the most cost-effective way to improve data protection standards; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

   (i) support Australian businesses in complying with the GDPR, and

   (ii) look to the GDPR as a model of international best practice for privacy protections for Australians against companies that employ surveillance capitalism.