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Privacy notice

Privacy Policy

It is our usual practice to collect personal information directly from the individual.

Sometimes we collect personal information from a third party or a publicly available source, but only if the individual has consented to such collection or
would reasonably expect us to collect their personal information in this way, or if it is necessary for a specific purpose such as the investigation of a privacy complaint.

In limited circumstances we may receive personal information about third parties from individuals who contact us and supply us with the personal information of
others in the documents they provide to us. In these circumstances we will attempt to ensure that the consent of those third parties is obtained if we think we may
need to use or disclose that information.

We only collect personal information for purposes which are directly related to our functions or activities under the Privacy Act, and only when it is necessary for
or directly related to such purposes. These purposes include:
Complaint handling and investigations:

  • When an individual makes a complaint to us
  • When we conduct audits of Australian or ACT Government agencies or private sector organisations
  • When we conduct investigations of Australian or ACT Government agencies or private sector organisations on the Privacy Commissioner’s own initiative.


When an individual contacts us asking for information or advice about our Office’s functions and its legislation.

Users are advised that there are inherent risks in transmitting information across the internet. Individuals may contact our Office by phone or mail if they
have concerns about making contact via the internet. For further information see Contact Us links on the Home Page.

We also collect personal information as part of our normal communication processes directly related to those purposes, including:

  • When an individual emails staff members
  • When an individual phones us we may store their phone number on our telephone system
  • When an individual hands us their business card.

Use and disclosure

We only use personal information for the purposes for which it was given to us, or for purposes which are directly related to one of our functions or activities.

We do not give it to other government agencies, organisations or anyone else unless one of the following applies:

  • the individual has consented
  • the individual would reasonably expect, or has been told, that information of that kind is usually passed to those individuals, bodies or agencies
  • it is required or authorised by law
  • it will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody's life or health
  • it is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of public revenue.

When an individual’s email address is received by us because they sent us a message, the email address will only be used or disclosed for the purpose for which
they have provided it and it will not be added to a mailing list or used or disclosed for any other purpose without the individual’s consent.


When individuals only browse the website, we do not collect their personal information.

Sometimes, we collect personal information that individuals choose to give us via online forms or by email, for example when individuals:

  • ask to be on an email list
  • make a written enquiry to the Office via email.

When an individual looks at our website, our internet service provider makes a record of the individual’s visit and logs (in server logs) the following information
for statistical purposes:

  • the individual’s server address
  • the individual’s top level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .org, .au, etc)
  • the pages the individual accessed and documents downloaded
  • the previous site the individual visited and
  • the type of browser being used.

We do not and can not identify users or their browsing activities except, in the event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a
warrant to inspect the internet service provider's server logs.


Our website may use session cookies during a search query of the website. Our internet service provider does not employ cookies on our website except
in those circumstances. The website statistics for this site are generated from the server logs as outlined above.

When an individual closes their browser the session cookie, if there is one set by our website is destroyed and no personal information is maintained which
might identify an individual should they visit our website at a later date.