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How do I know if I am allowed to send personal information to a specific country?

Under Australian Privacy Principle 8, an APP entity that discloses personal information to an overseas recipient, is generally required to ensure that the recipient will comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) when handling that information.

There are a number of exceptions. These include that an APP entity may disclose personal information to an overseas recipient where the APP entity reasonably believes that:

  • the overseas recipient is subject to a law, or binding scheme, that has the effect of protecting the information in a way that, overall, is at least substantially similar to the way the APPs protect the information, and
  • mechanisms can be accessed by the individual to enforce that protection of the law or binding scheme.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner does not have a list of countries with substantially similar laws or binding schemes. For more information about factors that may indicate that the overall effect of a law or binding scheme is substantially similar to the APPs, see APP guidelines, Chapter 8. You may also wish to seek legal advice on this issue.