Victorian Public Sector Privacy complaints on rise.

October 11, 2012 |

Yesterday the 2011 – 12 annual report of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner was tabled in Parliament.  It is found here.

It provides for somber reading on the number of privacy complaints.  Some of the findings are:

  • there were 109 complaints under the Information Privacy Act 2000 .  Of these, 75 were new complaints with 34 complaints carried over from 2011-12.  This exceeds the 100 complaints handled in the previous financial year and is the highest number of complaints handled since the establishment of the office.
  • the majority of complaints alleged inappropriate disclosure of personal information under IPP 2.1 (Use and Disclosure) (41 complaints at 35.3%) followed closely by IPP 4.1 (Data Security) (38 complaints at 32.8%), then IPP 1 (Collection) (26 complaints at 22.4%) and 2 complaints alleging a breach of IPP 10 (Sensitive Information).
  • 34 complaints were received against government departments accounting for 45.3% of total new complaints lodged.
  • 11 complaints were received regarding local councils (14.7%); and
  • 10 (13.3%) regarding law enforcement – the highest number for this category in the last five reporting periods.

Government departments remain the most common respondent to privacy complaints.

Of the 109 complaints handled in 2011-12, 81 complaints were finalised with 28 ongoing. Of those finalised, 33 (40.7%) had been successfully conciliated, 25 (30.9%) were dismissed without the complainant requesting referral to VCAT, with 22 complainants (27.2%) choosing to refer their matter to VCAT.

Privacy Victoria received a total of 2,617 enquiries during the 2011-12 reporting period. This represents an increase of 1.6% from 2010-11 and 6.2% from 2009-10.




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