Australian privacy law gives you the right to correct the personal information an organisation or agency holds about you if it is:
- out of date
You also have rights under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to access government records, and to ask an agency or minister to change or annotate a record of your personal information.
To ask state or territory police to correct records they hold about you, contact the criminal records section of the police service in your state or territory.
How to request a correction
You may first need to access your personal information from an organisation or agency.
If you think the personal information an organisation or agency holds about you is incorrect, then contact the organisation or agency and ask them to correct it. Only you or a person you authorise, such as a legal guardian or authorised agent, can request the correction of your personal information.
An organisation or agency must be satisfied the request came from you or the person you authorised. You may be asked to put your request in writing or for information that identifies you.
How an organisation or agency must handle your request
An organisation or agency must respond to a request to correct your personal information within a reasonable period. We think 30 days is a reasonable period.
The organisation or agency should consider the reasons they hold your personal information, and then take reasonable steps to respond to your request. Reasonable steps may include:
- adding, changing or deleting your personal information
- refusing to correct your personal information because doing so would be unreasonable.
An organisation or agency may have a legal need to keep particular information they hold about you for a certain period and so they may not be able to amend or delete this information during this period.
Is there a charge?
What if an organisation or agency refuses your request?
If an organisation or agency refuses your request to correct your personal information, then they must let you know in writing:
- the reasons for refusing to correct your personal information
- your right to request that a statement be associated with your personal information
- how to make a complaint.
If an organisation or agency refuses your request to correct your personal information, you may request that the organisation associate a statement that you think your personal information is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.
The organisation or agency must take reasonable steps to associate the statement with your personal information so that the statement is apparent to users of your personal information.
For more information about correcting personal information an organisation or agency holds about you, see the Australian Privacy Principles Guidelines, Chapter 13
If you’re not happy with an organisation or agency’s response, you can lodge a complaint with us.