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Australian Government - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Home

How do I make a privacy complaint?

First, complain directly to the agency or organisation. If they do not respond within 30 days or you are dissatisfied with the response, you can complain to the OAIC in writing.

1. First, complain directly to the agency or organisation.

Before you can make a complaint with the OAIC, you generally must complain directly to the agency or organisation. They should respond to your complaint within 30 days.

If they do not respond within 30 days, or you are dissatisfied with the response, you can then bring your complaint to us. 

Is your complaint related to credit reporting?

The organisation might be a member of a recognised External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme. Going through an EDR scheme can be a quicker way to resolve your complaint. The organisation will direct you to the appropriate EDR scheme.


2. Complain to the OAIC in writing.

It’s free. You do not need a lawyer to make a complaint about your privacy. However, if you do decide to hire a lawyer, you must pay for the lawyer yourself.

You must make your complaint in writing. We can’t take complaints over the phone.

Privacy complaint form

This form is hosted by the Australian Government on the portal.

Can't use the online complaint form?

If you can’t use the Privacy Complaint Form, download the Microsoft Word version below.

docMicrosoft Word version144 KB

Complete it and send it to us by post, fax or email.

Post GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
If you have concerns about postal security, you could use registered mail.
Fax +61 2 9284 9666
Note that email that is not encrypted can be copied or tracked.

Need help?

Call our Enquiries Line on 1300 363 992

Need assisted contact?

Reach us through the National Relay Service or the Translating and Interpreting Service

What to include with your complaint

Your complaint should include:

  • your contact details and any relevant reference numbers or identifiers
  • the name of the agency or organisation involved
  • a brief description of your privacy problem
  • any action the agency or organisation has taken to fix the problem
  • what you are seeking to resolve your complaint
  • copies of any relevant documents, including copies of your complaint to the agency or organisation, and its response
  • if your complaint involves credit reporting, you should include a copy of your credit file.

Your personal information

If you have any questions about the personal information we collect and how we will handle your information, please contact us or read our privacy policy.

Use and disclosure of your information

We will use the information you have provided to assess your complaint, conduct the investigation and conciliate. If we makes inquiries into or investigate your complaint, we will usually disclose the information you give us, including a copy of your complaint, to the entity you have complained about (the respondent). We may also disclose your information to others who have information relevant to your complaint, if necessary. If we think we may need to disclose your information to an overseas entity to handle your complaint, we will discuss this with you first.

In case of a challenge to a decision by the OAIC, we may need to disclose some information to a review body, for example a court or tribunal.

Collection of your information

We may need to collect further information from you in order to investigate your complaint. If you do not provide this information to the OAIC it may affect how we handle your complaint. In some circumstances, it may mean we decide not to investigate your complaint further.

We will usually collect information about you from the respondent. We may also collect information about you from others if they have information relevant to your complaint.

Accessing your information

If you would like to access to the information that we hold about you, please contact the enquiries line. More information is available on the Access our information page on our website.