IAB Australia submits response to Government’s privacy law proposals

IAB Australia has today released the digital advertising industry’s submission to the Government’s Privacy Act Review Discussion Paper, responding that the new proposals would detrimentally impact on the industry’s ability to function effectively.

In its new submission, IAB Australia agreed with the view expressed in the Discussion Paper that privacy laws should be fit for purpose, empower consumers, protect their data and support the digital economy.

However, it sets out the critical importance of finding the right balance between protecting individuals’ privacy and ensuring that the online interactions which have become essential to everyday lives are not halted.

In addition, the IAB submission highlighted “consent fatigue” as an issue and supports the Government’s objective of reducing the existing burden on consumers. However, the IAB raised concerns about how the Paper proposes to achieve this.

Local media companies on the IAB Australia board include: Carsales, News Corp Australia, REA Group, Google, Seven West Media, Meta, The Guardian, Nine, Facebook and Yahoo.

IAB Australia CEO, Gai Le Roy, said: “Privacy and consumer trust are fundamental to the functioning of our industry, but we can’t keep throwing more frequent and more detailed notices at consumers.

“If we want to be a leading digital economy and society, the law should not be restricting legitimate uses of data that are not harmful, are within consumers’ expectations and are necessary to support online business. The regulatory framework should address harmful practices without slowing down the digital economy or the advertising that funds it.”

The IAB Australia submission raises three overarching concerns with the Government’s proposals. Privacy regulations should not prevent legitimate data practices that support the digital economy, the legislation should remain principles-based and ‘tech neutral’ so that it can adapt to evolving data practices over time, and lastly, that the Australian regulatory framework should not be more restrictive than overseas jurisdictions such as the UK and the EU.

This would stifle innovation and put Australian businesses at a competitive disadvantage to those based overseas.

“Getting the regulatory settings right is no simple task. We very much welcome this important discussion and look forward to working constructively with the Government to achieve a fit-for-purpose regulatory framework that will remain relevant into the future,” Le Roy said.

Data is a critical funding component and facilitates the internet ecosystem, enabling free content and services to be delivered to millions of Australians every day, and supporting sectors including retail, finance, automotive, FMCG, technology and real estate.


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