Mar 14 2024


Australian Information Commissioner Angelene Falk shared her support for the Australian Data and Insights Association (ADIA)’s member organisations’ strong commitment to privacy with Australia’s first and only registered industry privacy code at the association’s annual Leaders Forum last week, ahead of proposed changes to Australia’s privacy laws.

More than 65 of the nation’s data, insights and research leaders gathered at the forum in Sydney with a fireside chat, Bringing the Privacy Act into the Digital Age with Commissioner Falk, a major drawcard for attendees.

Falk discussed the impending changes to Australia’s privacy laws, particularly how the proposed legislation would affect ADIA member organisations, along with the broader data industry. During the discussion, she highlighted the ADIA’s work in ensuring members comply with both the Australian Privacy Principles and a registered Privacy Code – going above and beyond minimum privacy law compliance obligations.

“The research, data and insights industry might be a smaller industry, but it’s a very important one. The kind of data and insights work that you do, and doing that under a privacy code, is really unique in this country. It’s the only registered privacy code that covers the work you do, so I really want to support your endeavors in that regard,” she said.

ADIA member and ORIMA Managing Director, Szymon Duniec, who led the fireside chat, said:

“Privacy protection is an existential issue for our industry. If we drop the ball on privacy protection, we lose our social license, and that has the potential to undermine our credibility and create trust issues that make it impossible for us to do our job. That’s why, for many years, ADIA has been at the forefront of pursuing better practice. All ADIA members have to abide by the code as a condition of membership and the association puts a lot of effort into supporting member compliance, which reflects the seriousness with which we take the issue and our commitment to better practice.”

ADIA CEO, Sarah Campbell, said Falk’s comments were timely, as the research, data and insights industry prepares for the impending privacy reforms.

“The commissioner’s discussion presented a prime opportunity for our industry to consider their current privacy frameworks. Given the stringent compliance requirements of our association, our members are well-placed for reform compliance. Our members are also given expert privacy support and training via the ADIA Academy – an online, on-demand platform, exclusive to members, and via the free member hotline,” she said.

“But for businesses looking to be more prepared ahead of the changes, particularly those organisations with a turnover of less than $3 million, now is the time to embed privacy into operations, particularly looking at building privacy impacts into risk assessment measures and having a thorough data breach response plan. It’s about being operationalised in your organisation to meet the new privacy requirements.”

The 2024 Leaders Forum also included conversations with guest speakers, including business strategist Michael McQueen, media personality Adam Spencer, B2B marketing expert Lucy Davison, Social Change Headquarters’ Mei Ling Ho and Lee Tonitto and EY economist Cherelle Murphy.

The event’s Future Leaders program, now in its second year, attracted dozens of next-generation research and insights talent following the success of last year’s inaugural event, with many up-and-coming industry representatives keen to learn from senior industry professionals.

Campbell said the Leaders Forum continued to provide critical networking and education opportunities for its members.

“Our annual forum has long been a key event on the industry calendar, providing opportunities for our members to share and collaborate in a highly interactive, discussion-driven atmosphere,” she said.

“I’m thrilled with the ongoing success of both our forum and our Future Leaders initiative. As an industry, we recognise our responsibility to support and celebrate our industry’s brightest talent, and really help them become future leaders.”

The ADIA will work closely with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner on a new Privacy Code for member organisations once the legislation is passed later this year. 


Note for editors:

  • ADIA member organisations have a long and successful track record in safeguarding personal information, working under a registered Australian Privacy Principles (APP) industry Privacy Code since 2003.
  • The Privacy Code imposes additional requirements on top of the Australian Privacy Principles to protect confidentiality, prohibit any selling of data and ensure that all personal information is collected only with clear and informed consent.
  • All ADIA members, large and small (with revenue under $3m) abide by the privacy code as a condition of membership.
  • As the administrator of the award-winning Privacy Code, ADIA convenes a privacy compliance committee, chaired by Professor Peter Leonard, and members report annually on compliance.
  • ADIA offers members a full suite of privacy resources and training via the ADIA Academy.