Rough Seas Ahead or Smooth Sailing? Tips and Tricks for In-house Telco Lawyers and Privacy Specialists Navigating Privacy Compliance

Sarah Stone, Corporate Counsel, Optus, Australia

It can be challenging for in-house lawyers and privacy specialists to provide clear guidance on privacy compliance in a fast-moving world where organisations are using advanced, predictive insights into customer behaviours to inform business decisions. This is particularly so for organisations that have a strong customer focus, where they are using data analytics to better understand and anticipate customer needs to offer value and quality services that enrich lives and enhance business success. The challenge lies in helping the organisation navigate its way through the sometimes rough and murky waters of legal/regulatory compliance without stifling business opportunity and innovation. This article, written from the perspectives of an in-house lawyer and a privacy specialist at a large telecommunications and entertainment business in Australia, describes some of the challenges of implementing ‘privacy-by-design’ in a business focused on delivering meaningful and enriched customer experiences, as well as providing tips for ensuring ‘smooth sailing’ and dealing with the occasional ‘bad weather’.

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Australia Data Protection Telecommunications January 2017 Vol.10, No. 38, Winter 2017

Sarah Stone


Sarah Stone is a dual qualified Australian / UK commercial lawyer with 18 years’ experience advising a broad range of businesses on technology, IP and privacy issues. Sarah holds a BSc (Honours) and an LLB from the University of Sydney, and a Business Management Certificate (Distinction) form the Australian Institute of Management. She has been working as Corporate Counsel at Optus since 2012, advising the Optus Consumer and Optus Business divisions on a broad range of commercial contracts and business issues. Prior to that, Sarah worked for 10 years in private practice in London, UK for a leading global law firm in the Intellectual Property, Technology and Sports team.



Optus is Australia’s second largest telco provider and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Singtel Group, Asia’s leading telecommunications company. Optus provides customers with a range of services including mobile, fixed and IP telephony, business network services, fixed and wireless broadband, satellite services, as well as entertainment and subscription TV. Optus also delivers wholesale services to third parties for resale under their own brand.

Australia Data Protection Telecommunications January 2017 Vol.10, No. 38, Winter 2017

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