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What can I complain about

You can make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) about the handling of your personal information by Australian and Norfolk Island government agencies and private sector organisations covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

You can also make a complaint to the OAIC about the handling of your personal information by ACT public sector agencies under the Information Privacy Act 2014 (ACT).

Important information about the complaints process:

  • It is free to lodge a complaint.
  • You do not need a lawyer. However if you do decide to hire a lawyer, you must pay for the lawyer yourself.
  • The OAIC investigates privacy complaints from individuals about Australian and Norfolk Island government agencies, and private sector organisations covered by the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act does not cover state and territory government agencies, however the OAIC does investigate complaints about ACT public sector agencies covered by the Information Privacy Act 2014 (ACT).
  • The OAIC aims to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. Some complaints are resolved within weeks, but more complex complaints may take longer. You can find more information about what you can expect in our Client Service Charter.
  • Complaints are generally resolved through conciliation.
  • You can choose to withdraw your complaint at any time.

Privacy complaint checker

The Privacy Complaint Checker is a series of questions to help you work out if the OAIC can deal with your privacy complaint.

Further information

 You can find more information about how to make a complaint, what will happen to your complaint and how to request a review of a complaint decision in this section.

This page makes up a part of the OAIC Information Publication Scheme IPS