This section provides a basic introduction to what privacy is and what the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) covers. For information about other Commonwealth privacy-related legislation, see the Other legislation page.
What is covered by privacy?
In Australia, privacy law relates to the protection of an individual’s personal information. Personal information is information that identifies you or could reasonably identify you.
The Privacy Act also contains provisions that deal with:
For more information about what is covered by privacy, go to the What is covered by privacy page.
Who is covered by privacy?
The Privacy Act includes ten National Privacy Principles (NPPs), which apply to certain private sector organisations, and 11 Information Privacy Principles (IPPs), which apply to Australian, ACT and Norfolk Island government agencies. These principles give individuals protection against the mishandling of their personal information.
For more information about who is covered by privacy, go to the Who is covered by privacy page.
Privacy law reform
The Australian Parliament passed amendments to the Privacy Act in November 2012, which will affect the way in which privacy is regulated from 12 March 2014. See our privacy law reform page for more detail.