Xamax Consultancy - Privacy Statements

Privacy Statements

Roger Clarke

Principal, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 1999

This document is at http://www.xamax.com.au/DV/PStatemts


It's clear that consumer electronic commerce is being held back by lack of trust; and a key element in that shortfall is the lack of privacy protections on the Internet.

The U.S. and Australia both lack legislation to ensure privacy protection in the private sector. The Australian Government has committed to introducing a regime to the Parliament. The U.S., on the other hand, is still hoping to withstand pressure from consumers, and from the European Union, and hence avoid implementing a legal enforceable scheme.

One of the primary measures proposed in the U.S. in order to avoid legislation has been Privacy Statements on web-sites. Because this has become a vogue in the U.S., it is being discussed in Australia as well.

This document provides guidance to Australian corporations and government agencies in relation to Privacy Statements.

Should Your Organisation Have a Privacy Statement?

There is no legal requirement for a company to have a Privacy Statement on its web-site.

There are, however, some significant advantages in doing so. These include:

It must be appreciated, however, that an organisation is bound by statements made on its web-site, and may be subject to prosecution or civil suit if its statements are misleading or are not honoured.

Developing a Privacy Statement

It is advisable that your organisation develop a Privacy Statement within the context of a broad strategy relating to privacy and other consumer matters. A separate document provides guidance in relation to the development of a privacy strategy.

The following steps then need to be taken:

A well-designed Privacy Statement is of course a significant opportunity to gain coverage through appropriate media, in order to project the organisation's desired image to its clientele, and to project an image of corporate responsibility to regulatory bodies.


Xamax Consultancy has the longest experience of any privacy consultancy in Australia, is up-to-date in relation to developments in Australia and around the world, and is well placed to provide assistance in the development of corporate privacy strategy and Privacy Statements.


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Created: 3 May 1999

Last Amended: 3 May 1999

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, ACN: 002 360 456
78 Sidaway St
Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, 6288 6916