Public interest determinations

Information about the Register
Privacy public interest determination guide
Notices of applications for public interest determinations
Public interest determinations register

Information about the Register

Part VI of the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) gives the Australian Information Commissioner (Information Commissioner) the power to make a determination, by legislative instrument, that an act or practice of an Australian or Norfolk Island Government agency, or a private sector organisation, which may constitute a breach of an Australian Privacy Principle or a registered APP code that binds the entity, shall be regarded as not breaching that principle or registered code for the purposes of the Privacy Act.

In doing so, the Information Commissioner must be satisfied that the public interest in doing the act or practice, substantially outweighs the public interest in adhering to the APP or registered APP code. A determination made under Part VI is referred to as a public interest determination (PID). The Information Commissioner also has the power to make a Temporary Public Interest Determination (TPID), in limited circumstances, where an application for a PID raises issues that require an urgent decision.

Privacy public interest determination guide

The Privacy public interest determination guide assists agencies and private sector organisations who are considering, or making, applications for a PID (and where relevant a TPID) under the Privacy Act. For those considering making an application for a PID, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) strongly encourages discussing the matter with the OAIC in the first instance.

Notices of applications for public interest determinations

Applicant: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd

Date of notice: 27 February 2014    Subject matter: International Money Transfers

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) sought a determination that, on and from 12 March 2014, a breach of Australian Privacy Principle 8, or a breach of another Australian Privacy Principle as a result of the application of section 16C(2), in relation to the processing of international money transfers (IMT) that involve cross-border disclosure of personal information of an individual who is the beneficiary of an IMT, will be taken not to contravene section 15 of the Privacy Act 1988.

pdfPDF of ANZ PID application2.49 MB Note this is a PDF image of the application as received with a redaction of confidential information and signature. If you have difficulty accessing the contents please contact us.

Update 11 March 2014: A temporary public interest determination for the applicant, ANZ, and an associated generalising determination for other authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959 have been made by the Privacy Commissioner and registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (see register below). An ADI may be a bank, credit union or building society or a financial institution otherwise authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Update 23 June 2014: A consultation paper has been released about whether longer term determinations should be made. Comments are due by 4 August 2014 to consultation@oaic.gov.au.  

Applicant: Reserve Bank of Australia

Date of notice: 14 May 2014    Subject matter: International Money Transfers

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sought a determination that it is taken not to breach section 15 of the Privacy Act in relation to certain acts and practices involved in the overseas disclosure of an individual’s personal information in the processing of an international money transfer (in line with the similar application by ANZ above).

pdfPDF of RBA PID application809.07 KB Note this is a PDF of the application as received with a redaction of confidential information and signature. If you have difficulty accessing the contents please contact us.

Update 15 May 2014: A temporary public interest determination for the applicant, RBA, has been made by the Privacy Commissioner and registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (see register below).

Update 23 June 2014: A consultation paper has been released about whether a longer term determination should be made. Comments are due by 4 August 2014 to consultation@oaic.gov.au.

Public interest determinations register

The listing of current PIDs and TPIDs below constitutes the register of determinations that the Information Commissioner is required to keep in accordance with section 80E of the Privacy Act 1988.

The authoritative versions of all legislative instruments enabled by the Privacy Act 1988 can be found on the ComLaw website at www.comlaw.gov.au/Series/C2004A03712/Enables. Determinations under s78(a) that are no longer in force or determinations dismissing an application are found in the Privacy archive section of this website.

Register of determinations kept under s 80E of the Privacy Act 1988

Name of determination

Commenced

ComLaw link

Other information

Privacy (International Money Transfers) Temporary Public Interest Determination 2014 (No. 2) 16 May 2014 F2014L00534 This temporary determination (TPID 2014-2) relates to the overseas disclosure of an individual’s personal information in the processing of an international money transfer by the Reserve Bank of Australia. See above for information about consultation on this application.
Privacy (International Money Transfers) Generalising Determination 2014 (No. 1) 12 Mar 2014   F2014L00242 A temporary generalising determination of TPID 2014-1 for all authorised deposit-taking institution. See above for information about consultation on this application.
Privacy (International Money Transfers) Temporary Public Interest Determination 2014 (No. 1) 12 Mar 2014  F2014L00241 This temporary determination (TPID 2014-1) relates to the overseas disclosure of an individual’s personal information in the processing of an international money transfer by ANZ. See above for information about consultation on this application.
PID No. 12A - Collection of Family, Social and Medical Histories 11 Dec 2011 F2011L02573 A generalising determination of PID 12 for specified health service providers
PID No. 12 - Collection of Family, Social and Medical Histories 11 Dec 2011 F2014C00257 To permit the collection of third party health information for inclusion in an individual's family, social or medical history.
PID No. 5 4 Dec 1991 F2008B00569 To permit the AFP to disclose personal information relating to homicides in the ACT, to the Australian Institute of Criminology
PID No. 3A 14 Dec 1991 F2008B00567 To permit disclosure of personal information to relevant statutory disciplinary or regulatory bodies
PID No. 2 12 Nov 1990 F2008B00566 To allow certain disclosures for the purpose of considering applications for the Australian honours system

Share this page

Protecting information rights — advancing information policy