Privacy case note: super fund’s failure to update authorities

‘WG’ and AustralianSuper Pty Ltd (Privacy) AICmr 64 considered a complaint that AustralianSuper Pty Ltd disclosed a member’s personal information to their former lawyers despite the complainant having given the super fund notice of the revocation of the lawyers’ authority to act.

The Privacy Commissioner decided that AustralianSuper Pty Ltd, interfered with the complainant’s privacy by:

  • disclosing the complainant’s personal information to their former lawyers in breach of Australian Privacy Principle 6;
  • failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that it used accurate and up-to-date personal information of the complainant, having regard to the purposes of its use, in breach of Australian Privacy Principle 10.2;
  • failing to take reasonable steps to protect the complainant’s personal information from unauthorised use and disclosure in breach of Australian Privacy Principle 11.1.

AustralianSuper Pty Ltd was ordered to pay the complainant $4,500 for loss caused by the interference with the complainant’s privacy

AustralianSuper Pty Ltd was also required to engage an independent auditor to assess its procedures and training to staff and contractors (including all new staff and contractors) regarding updating changes to authorities to act. The scope of the auditor’s engagement should consider the root causes of the letters being sent to the lawyers.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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