Angelene Falk reappointed as privacy tsar

Angelene Falk will spend at least another three years in her role as Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner after Attorney-General Michaelia Cash confirmed her reappointment.

Ms Falk’s re-appointment through to August 2024 comes as the government searches for a Freedom of Information Commissioner after it provided $1 million in funding in the May budget to establish the position, and as the nation’s Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) battles an ever-growing freedom-of-information case backlog.

As established in 2010, the OAIC was meant to have three separate commissioners – for information, privacy and freedom of information. But Coalition funding cuts in 2015 left just a privacy commissioner to perform all of these roles, which has remained the case in the years since, with Ms Falk currently serving in all three roles.

On Friday, as the OAIC announced it was investigating Optus, the government announced Ms Falk’s re-appointment.

Angelene Falk
Reappointed: Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk

“I am pleased to announce that Ms Angelene Falk has been reappointed as Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner for a period of three years,” Attorney-General Cash said on Friday.

“Since her appointment in 2018, Ms Falk has effectively led the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

“She has worked to increase the Australian public’s trust and confidence in the protection of personal information by promoting the understanding of privacy issues and effectively resolving privacy complaints and investigations.”

Commissioner Falk said she was honoured to continue to lead the OAIC.

“This is a pivotal time for both privacy and freedom of information,” Ms Falk said.

“Over the next 3 years, we will uphold and advance these rights to enable citizens and businesses to safeguard personal information and harness its benefits, for individuals and the economy, while we encourage an open-by-design approach to information access across government.

“This includes regulating the online environment and high privacy impact technologies, expanding the Consumer Data Right, advising on and implementing proposed reforms to the Privacy Act 1988, and increasing proactive publication of government-held information.”

Ms Falk was admitted as a legal practitioner to the Supreme Court of NSW in 1998 and holds an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law from Melbourne University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

Ms Falk has held senior positions in the OAIC since 2012.

with Denham Sadler

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