Privacy Commissioner makes first representative award for non-economic loss following a government data breach

  • Privacy Commissioner determines that non-economic loss compensation is payable to individuals affected by a data breach in a representative action.
  • However, non-economic loss is of an ‘inherently personal nature’ and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The decision serves as a reminder of the weighty and ongoing costs of a data breach, including administrative burdens.

For the first time, the Privacy Commissioner (Commissioner) has determined that non-economic loss compensation is payable to individuals affected by a data breach in a representative action.

The Commissioner’s determination

Earlier this year, the Commissioner ordered that the Department of Home Affairs (Department) compensate over one thousand asylum seekers, including for non-economic loss, provided they demonstrated loss or damage resulting from the unauthorised disclosure of their personal information.

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