The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act)regulate how most Australian and Norfolk Island Government agencies and many private sector organisations, including large businesses, credit bodies (like banks), not-for-profits and private health service providers, handle personal information.
Personal information is information or an opinion that identifies you or could identify you. Some examples are your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, medical records, bank account details and opinions about you.
But privacy isn’t just about the law. It’s about you and the choices that you make every day. How often do you think about your privacy when doing any of the following everyday things?
You probably don’t realise just how many decisions you make about your privacy every day. These decisions are your choices — you can make choices about privacy in a way that works for you.
Social networking sites are one of the key places for sharing personal information. There’s no problem with staying in touch with friends on social media but you need to be aware of the risks and protect yourself and your friends.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner' s (OAIC) 2013 Community attitudes to privacy survey shows that 60% of young people think that online services, including social media, are the greatest risk to privacy right now. And 33% of young people have posted something on social media that they later regretted.
Social media sites have privacy policies — so make sure you read the terms and conditions, and adjust your privacy settings, so that you are only sharing with friends and people you trust.
Think about the consequences of your actions — your digital identity is real, and once something is out there it’s almost impossible to take it back.
It’s also important to respect your friends and the people around you — think before you post, tag or share photos or information about other people.
For more information on social media, including what to do if someone posts content that you want removed or that you feel threatens, harasses or defames you, see the OAIC’s FAQs on Social Media.
ID theft and fraud are on the rise in Australia, and the availability of personal information in the online environment makes it more important than ever to protect your identity.
If an organisation or person wants to collect personal information from you, ask why the information is required, what they will do with it and who will it be disclosed to:
For more information on identity security, including what to do if you think you have been a victim of identity fraud, see the OAIC’s FAQs on identity security.
These days, everyone uses credit on a daily basis — credit and store cards, Paypal, even utility bills are a credit line.
The ability to get credit is something we take for granted, but if something goes wrong it’s usually at the worst possible time — just as you’re about to commit to a large purchase, or even a house.
The 12 March 2014 changes to the Privacy Act included some big changes to the way that the credit system works in Australia. Some aspects remain the same, and some are different, but the key things to remember are: