The Australian Privacy Foundation says it welcomes some key aspects of the new laws which it believes will help to strengthen consumers' rights.
It is particularly pleased with the move to grant individuals the right to request information from large organisations that hold personal information.
It says this may allow consumers to submit requests to large companies like Facebook and Google, allowing them to find out how much personal information they are holding on them and whether they have passed on that information to other parties.
It is unclear at this stage whether large companies may request a fee from consumers to access this information.
Privacy Foundation board member, Associate Professor Katina Michael believes the new laws covering personal data could fail if companies send information to countries with weak privacy laws and regulations.
"Maybe I'm thinking idealistically here, but I'd love for my personal data to at least go to a country abroad, if it is to go to a country at all, where there is some sort of agreement or treaty or some formulated protocol of how that data is to be handled."
Dr Michael, who lectures in information technology at the University of Wollongong, believes small businesses should not have been exempted from the new privacy laws.
"I think when you look at the makeup of Australia's businesses- 80 per cent of Australia's businesses are small businesses hiring a quarter of Australia's population. Then you've got to think, the modern day capability of working with computing- it doesn't really matter if you're a small business- you can reach out globally, you have the ability to generate revenue, you have the ability to work with large players in the industry and sometimes these third parties who are actually on the back of these large organisations- they're not larger than ten persons- they're very small organisations that for their size are punching above their weight. So I think all organisations whether it's small, medium or large, need to play by the same rules."
Citation: Michael Kenny, February 8, 2014, "Do new privacy protection laws go far enough?", SBS News, https://www.sbs.com.au/news/do-new-privacy-protection-laws-go-far-enough