The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (PPS Act) established a single, national, online Personal Property Securities Register (PPS Register). The PPS Register allows lenders and businesses to register their security interests over personal property.

A personal property security is created when a secured party (eg a lender) takes an interest in personal property of a grantor (eg a borrower), as security for a loan or other obligation, or enters into a transaction that involves the supply of secured finance.

Registrations on the PPS Register include data about the grantor’s personal property and, where the grantor is an individual, may contain the grantor’s name and date of birth. Persons can search the PPS Register for limited purposes, including to find out if a security interest is registered over personal property.

The PPS Act has a number of mechanisms to protect individual grantors and other members of the public from misuse of the PPS Register. Under the PPS Act, the following will be an interference with the privacy of an individual for the purposes of s 13 of the Privacy Act 1988:

  • a breach of the requirement for a secured party to give notice to an individual grantor in relation to the addition, amendment or removal of information from the PPS Register (s 157(4) of the PPS Act), or
  • an unauthorised search of the PPS Register, or unauthorised use of personal information obtained from a search of the PPS Register (s 173(2) of the PPS Act).

The above may be the subject of a complaint by an individual under s 36, and an investigation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner under s 40 of the Privacy Act. The ‘interference with privacy’ provisions cover any entity or individual whether or not they are otherwise subject to the Privacy Act.

More information about the PPS Register is available on the PPS Register website.