Can the Privacy Commissioner investigate my privacy complaint?
This will depend on a number of things such as whether or not:
- the agency or organisation (the respondent) you are complaining about is subject to the Privacy Act
- your complaint involves personal information
- you have complained to the respondent and given it a reasonable time to deal with your complaint.
The Complaint Checker can help you work out whether the Commissioner is likely to investigate your complaint.
What is the Complaint Checker?
The Complaint Checker asks you up to eight simple questions to help you check whether or not the Commissioner may be able to investigate your complaint.
The Complaint Checker can only give you general advice that will apply in most circumstances. You should not rely upon this information as legal advice.
If, after you have used the Complaint Checker, you are still unsure about whether or not the Commissioner can investigate your complaint, or if you would like to discuss the information provided in the Complaint Checker, please call our Enquiries Line.
What does the Complaint Checker cover?
The Complaint Checker applies to complaints about:
- Australian Government agencies
- private sector organisations (businesses and not-for-profits)
- ACT public sector agencies in relation to the Territory Privacy Principles.
What is not covered by the Complaint Checker?
You can also make a complaint to the Commissioner about:
- the handling of eHealth records, healthcare identifiers, genetic information and health and medical research and the medicare and pharmaceutical benefits schemes
- the handling of some criminal records (spent convictions)
- the handling of personal information on the Personal Property Securities Register
- data-matching by Australian Government agencies using tax file numbers and the use of tax file numbers more generally.
We have used the following abbreviations in the Complaint Checker:
- Privacy Act — for the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (current as at 12 March 2014)
- Commissioner — for the Privacy Commissioner
- Respondent — for the agency or organisation your complaint is about
It's important to remember:
- Before lodging your complaint with the Commissioner you should first contact to the respondent about your complaint, so that it has an opportunity to resolve your complaint.
- You should allow the respondent a reasonable time to respond to your complaint. Generally the Commissioner considers a month a reasonable time, however more complex matters may take longer to resolve.
- If you receive no response from the respondent or it has not resolved your privacy complaint to your satisfaction, you can then lodge your complaint with the Commissioner.
Start the Complaint Checker.