Handle with care

Personal data can travel through numerous transactions, media and organisations — but it’s always personal — so handle it with care at every step.

Welcome to Privacy Awareness Week

A message from the Commissioner

Portrait photo of Timothy Pilgrim

This Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) we explore privacy through the theme Trust and Transparency. This speaks to the consumer and community trust that flows to organisations who handle personal information transparently, and with care, throughout the information life cycle.

Privacy is rarely about secrecy, but is about transparency, security, and choice. It’s about organisations being up-front about their personal information handling practices so that individuals can make informed choices about how they share their information. And it’s about respecting customer trust by maintaining strong security and information handling practices throughout the life cycle of personal data. 

This builds public and customer confidence, as it shows that privacy rights are being respected and protected. And that is essential to the both public and private sector organisations alike.

This PAW we will get a timely update on how Australian community and consumer trust in privacy is travelling, when we release the latest report in the longest-running national privacy survey, the Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey (ACAPS).

For businesses and agencies, this will update you on the community’s privacy expectations, including around transparency. For individuals, the results should make you think about how you manage your own privacy and personal information.

Our privacy is valuable. It’s part of who we are, and it’s vital to our freedom of choice and freedom of expression.

So this PAW, please look at our website, ask questions about privacy, and find out how you can handle your personal information with care. And if you’re a business, please consult our resources to see how you can ensure that information you handle is cared for in each and every transaction.

As the regulator of Australia’s Privacy Act 1988, our office is able to help you answer your privacy questions. Visit our website for a range of resources, or call our enquiries line if you want to discuss a privacy complaint.

Timothy Pilgrim

Australian Information and
Privacy Commissioner

Release of ACAPS 2017

Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey

Illustration of Australia with a speech bubble

The Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey (ACAPS) results will be released for Privacy Awareness Week 2017. The survey, which has been conducted since 2001, will provide a snapshot of Australia’s views on:

  • privacy and the handling of personal information
  • emerging privacy trends and new developments in the privacy space
  • areas of concerns for the community, including new technologies, big data and public data.

As with our previous studies, this year’s survey will build on our previous findings including:

  • data breaches
  • social media and oversharing
  • notice and consent
  • secondary use of personal data
  • ID theft.

With the ever-increasing flows and use of personal information online, privacy is becoming a progressively prominent matter for the community, even for those who may not have considered it much before. We expect that this trend may lead to a number of interesting insights in our 2017 survey.

Want to hear our about the full findings in person? Register your interest for the ACAPS event, which will include a presentation by the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner on Tuesday 16 May 2017.

Privacy impact assessment eLearning

A new eLearning course for beginners

Illustration of hand with Guide to Privacy Impact Assessments

The OAIC will release our new Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) eLearning program this PAW.

If you are initiating a new project or developing a new policy, our PIA eLearning program will help you get privacy right from the start.

The PIA eLearning course will:

  • highlight the OAIC’s expectations about when to do a PIA and what it should involve
  • show you the different steps involved in a PIA
  • provide you with tips and tools to help you complete your own PIA.

On completing the PIA eLearning, you will be able to:

  • identify when a PIA is necessary
  • conduct a PIA for your own projects
  • confidently identify privacy risks and develop strategies to address these risks.

The PIA eLearning program will be free and available for all to access, use and share.

Join our distribution list to be notified when the PIA eLearning program is released this PAW.


What's happening

  • PAW website

    The PAW campaign website has been relaunched! This site will hold all the dates, information and resources you need for the week, including training resources, videos, and partner logos.

  • Media release: Privacy Awareness Week launched for 2017

    With privacy attracting a record level of attention from Australian consumers and communities, Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, has today previewed key events of this year’s Privacy Awareness Week (15 to 19 May 2017).

    ‘Australians are more conscious of personal data issues than ever before, and the numbers tell the story,’ said Commissioner Pilgrim. ‘Our statistics show a 20 per cent increase in privacy complaints made to my office so far this financial year. This highlights just how Australian expectations of privacy are maturing each year.’

    Read more


What's on 15–19 May

  • Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey event

    When: Tuesday, 16 May 2017, Time TBA
    Where: Sydney (venue TBA)

    The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner will reveal the insights of the Australian Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2017 at a special launch event during PAW.

    Details of the events will be available closer to the time. To be the first in the know, register your details on our expression of interest form.

    Register your interest

  • An open discussion with the eSafety Commissioner

    When: Thursday, 18 May 2017, Time TBA
    Where: Sydney (TBA)

    The Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, will have an open discussion with the eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman-Grant, about digital privacy for teenagers.

    Details of the event will be available closer to the time. Express your interest in learning more below.

    Register your interest

“Privacy is not about secrecy but about choice — choosing what you reveal, to whom, when and why. Good privacy practices keep that choice in your hands.”
“When privacy is built into products and processes, people understand how their data will be used and can make their own choices. This is how organisations gain the trust they need to innovate successfully.”

Partners 2017

Signing up as a PAW partner is a simple way to demonstrate that your organisation values and respects privacy.

Sign up

ORC International
Optometry Australia
Break Thru People Solutions
Matrix Piping Systems
iShred Onsite Document Destruction
Afea Care Service
ACCO Brands Australia
Wallis Market and Social Research
Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA)
Colorado Attorney General's Office - Consumer Protection Section
IOOF Holdings Ltd
Advanced Piping Systems (Vic)
Cloud Insurance
ANZ Bank
DuluxGroup Australia
Curtin University
Tatts Group Limited
Learning Seat
Alex Solutions
Accountable List Brokers
Mater Health Services
AIA Australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Association of Market and Social Research Organisations
Department of Housing and Community Development
Australia Post
BAE Systems Australia Limited
The University of Melbourne
Information Integrity Solutions Pty Ltd
Intel Security
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Therapy Focus Ltd
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Department of Social Services
Virtual 6degrees
DUO Services Australia Ltd
Lakeridge Health
Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
Medibank Private
Melbourne Institute of Technology
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Google Australia
Transport for NSW
CV Check Ltd
CRM Brokers Pty Ltd
Connexxion Pty Limited
RCPA Quality Assurance Programs Pty Limited
Macquarie University Hospital
National Catholic Education Commission
Mercy Hospitals Vic. Ltd. (MHVL)
Department of Finance
Equity Trustees Limited
Health Care Innovate
National Capital Private Hospital
Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Enex Carbon
Green Point Christian College
CBHS Health Fund
ANMF (Vic Branch) Education Centre
P&N Bank
National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner
CARE Australia
PSMA Australia
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (Queensland Section)
iSelect Limited
Origin Energy
North East Water
Fair Work Ombudsman
Information Governance ANZ
First State Super Trustee Corporation
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Australian Community Support Organisation Ltd.
Tasmania Health Organisation
Ballarat Health Services
Far West LHD
Brentwood Computer Club
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Eastern Health
Ernst & Young
PeopleCheck Pty Ltd
Castlemaine Health
The Smith Family
Charter Customer Service
PMG Media
Bass Coast Health
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Salinger Privacy
Cybernetic Global Intelligence
Qantas Airlines
Sonic Healthcare
CatholicCare Melbourne
Analytics in Motion
Layer 8 Security
MMR Consulting Pty Ltd
WorkSafe Victoria
Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre
The Australian Bereavement Register
Deadlines Directt
Cyber Plus
Biometrics Institute
Webber Insurance Services
Public Transport Ombudsman
Resource Furniture
Expat International Pty Ltd
Credit and Investments Ombudsman
Henderson Matusch
Coherent Cloud
Westfund Health Insurance
Shred On Site
Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria)
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
Tenix Solutions
Australian Institute of Criminology
Virtual Information Technology
Australian Research Council
AGL Energy Limited
TJN Accountants
WA Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (WANADA)
Tego Insurance
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group
Stable Research
Dowerin Home & Community Care
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Cyber Risk Advisors
Security Centric
Privalis Group
Australian National Data Service (ANDS)
Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Veritas Check
Veritas Check (NZ) Pty Ltd
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
ORIMA Research
Zing Australia
Ausvet Pty Ltd
Federal Group
Australian Unity
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Novartis Australia
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission