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Australian Credit Reporting Industry Under Spotlight as Government Discusses New Code of Conduct Changes

Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) February 11, 2011

Australian Credit Reporting Industry Under Spotlight as Government Discusses New Code of Conduct Changes

Australian Credit Reporting Industry Under Spotlight as Government Discusses New Code of Conduct Changes

The Minister for Privacy Brendan O’Connor will today host a Roundtable to discuss the development of a proposed new Code of Conduct for the Credit Reporting industry.

Consumer and privacy advocates and representatives of the financial sector will attend the meeting at Parliament House in Canberra today.

Under proposed changes to the Privacy Act, credit reporting agencies and credit providers will be required to protect consumers’ private information, including details they use to assess a customers’ eligibility for banking products.

“A new binding Code of Conduct will be an integral part of the new credit reporting regime, helping to provide greater protection for consumers and clearer guidance for business,” Mr O’Connor said.

The Code will include more specific rules on access to clients’ personal information, data accuracy and complaint handling than is possible to include in legislation.

“Today’s Roundtable will provide a forum for stakeholders to discuss the development of the industry-led Code of Conduct and raise any matters arising from the draft legislation.”

The Roundtable follows the referral of draft comprehensive credit reporting provisions to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee for review. The draft legislation implements part of the Government’s response to the Australian Law Reform Commission report For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice.

“This is a valuable opportunity for interested parties to express their views on credit reporting and make progress toward an industry-led Credit Reporting Code of Conduct,” he said.

The new Code will replace and strengthen an existing Code that has been in place since 1991.

Any Code of Conduct developed by industry will need to be approved by the Australian Information Commissioner before taking effect.


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