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Privacy Commissioner recommends rewrite of areas in AML/CFT bill

28 June 2017

The Privacy Commissioner is recommending a rewrite of some key aspects of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill.

The Commissioner has suggested the changes in his submission to the Law and Order Committee.

Phase two of the Act includes a provision where lawyers becoming reporting entities.

In his submission, John Edwards points to the new and expanded powers for agencies to share information, including personal information.

He says these provide for the collection and disclosure of the personal information of a significant number of individuals and will therefore have significant implications for personal privacy.

“My view is that the framework for information sharing provided under clauses 38, 40 and 48 is confusing, contains unnecessary duplication, and gives disproportionate powers to agencies to share information in a way that goes beyond the objectives of the Bill and risks undermining privacy protections in other statutes.

Mr Edwards makes several recommendations including that the definition of “law enforcement purposes” in clause 5 be amended.

“That is to ensure that it cannot be read broadly to include functions outside of the purposes of the AML/CFT regime and to ensure that information sharing authorised by officials is appropriately constrained,” he says.

Mr Edwards also recommends amending the Bill to create a single regulation making power, with appropriate safeguards, related to information sharing.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019