The amendments of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) had a significant impact on the credit reporting system. The amendments brought the introduction of a comprehensive reporting system as well as a new corrections system.

The amendments introduced a new ‘first responder’ obligation. This means that any credit providers (CP) or credit reporting bodies (CRB) that have dealt with and retains personal information about an individual will be responsible for handling a correction request from an individual.

The CP or CRB are now required to satisfy itself, within 30 days of the date of request, whether the information the individual has sought a review of should be corrected because it is out of date, inaccurate, irrelevant or misleading. This obligation is irrespective of whether the CP or CRB actually created the disputed information. In a situation where the first responder did not create the information, they will be required to contact the CPs or CRBs that have held the individual’s information to determine whether or not is correct.

The first responder is required to either correct the information within 30 days of the request or where this is not possible, provide written notice to the consumer stating that the correction has not been made and reasons for this. The notice must also provide the consumer evidence as to why the information it is holding indicates that it is correct. An extension will only be permitted if a request is made and the consumer provides consent.

If you require any further information in relation to correction obligations, please contact our team of lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry form today.