Privacy Commissioner publishes statistics for April – June 2014

July 29, 2014 |

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has published its most recent statistics relating to the last quarter.  They are found here.  The media release is found here.

Regarding privacy related work the OAIC made the following comments:

  • Phone enquiries: handled 16,486 phone enquiries (18,238 in 2012–13) — a 9% increase in privacy phone enquiries, which are 71% of the total
  • Written enquiries: answered 3742 written enquiries (3165 in 2012–13) — a 26% increase in privacy written enquiries, which are 64% of the total
  • Privacy complaints: received 4243 complaints (184% increase), and completed 2616 (74% increase). The average closure rate was 7.2 privacy complaints per day (90% increase), and the average completion time was 86.7 days (44% decrease)
  • Privacy audits: conducted 8 audits (60% increase)
  • Data breach notifications (DBNs): handled 73 DBNs (55% increase)
  • Privacy investigations: conducted 13 Commissioner-initiated investigations (32% decrease), and published 4 reports
  • Advice, guidance and submissions: published 20 guideline items, conducted 22 consultations, provided 133 written policy advices, and made 17 submissions
  • Website visits: received 1.51 million website visits (10% increase)

Raw statistics indicate little beyond general conclusions and general trends (if that).  What the figures do not explain is the reason or reasons for 4,243 complaints being received but only 2,616 complaints being completed (whatever that means).  On the figures alone the complaints are up 184% but the completion is only up 74%.  Interestingly the number of commissioner initiated investigations is actually down.  Given the enhanced powers of the Commissioner that seems to be counter intuitive.  Has there been a spate of good privacy behaviour that almost all observers, practitioners and the media missed?

The real test of the effective workload of the Privacy Commissioner is in using his expanded powers to properly regulate and deal effectively with interferences with privacy.  That will assist in changing the culture, something desperately needed.

One Response to “Privacy Commissioner publishes statistics for April – June 2014”

  1. Privacy Commissioner publishes statistics for April – June 2014 | Australian Law Blogs

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