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Removal of ‘imminent’ from the IPPs and HPPs

The Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017 (the Amending Act) establishes an information sharing scheme by amending the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 and other laws, including the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (PDP Act) and the Health Records Act 2001 (HR Act).

One of the key changes to the PDP Act and the HR Act is the removal of the word ‘imminent’ from several provisions in the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) and the Health Privacy Principles (HPPs).

These provisions previously referred to a ‘serious and imminent threat’, which was the threshold that, if established, permitted the collection, use and disclosure of an individual’s personal and health information in order to lessen or prevent the threat.

The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of this change and offer guidance for organisations as to the considerations that may be relevant to determining what is a ‘serious’ threat. While the PDPA and the HRA contain different obligations for personal information and health information, this guidance addresses the removal of ‘imminent’ in relation to both the IPPs and the HPPs.

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