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Do the Australian Privacy Principles apply to local councils or State or Territory governments?

The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) do not apply to local councils or state or territory governments. The APPs also do not apply to Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government agencies.

The APPs only apply to 'organisations' and Australian Government (and Norfolk Island Government) agencies. 

The Information Privacy Act 2014 (ACT) regulates how personal information is handled by ACT public sector agencies. This Act includes a set of Territory Privacy Principles (TPPs), which cover the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information, and an individual’s access to and correction of that information. The Australian Information Commissioner has some regulatory responsibilities in relation to this Act, including handling complaints by individuals against ACT public sector agencies. For more information, see Australian Capital Territory Privacy.

 Section 6C of the  Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) states that entities which are state or territory authorities or prescribed instrumentalities of a state or territory (which include local councils) are not organisations. As these entities are not organisations they are exempt from the coverage of the APPs.

Some states have privacy laws that cover state and local government bodies. For more information on what laws apply in the states and territories, please visit the Other privacy jurisdictions page.