The Information and Privacy Commission NSW champions privacy and information rights.
In NSW, you have a legal right to access most government information. You can contact the agency who holds the information directly in the first instance, to see if they will release the information to you informally.
If the agency declines your initial request, you can lodge a formal application to have the information released to you.
Please note, the Information and Privacy Commission does not store, and cannot provide information on behalf of government agencies.
For more information on how to request government information, click here.
Privacy Awareness Week 2014 kicks off soon and this year’s theme is “Mobilise your privacy, stay safe online”.
Now more than ever it is vital that both organisations and individuals are vigilant when it comes to privacy protection, particularly with the increasing use of online and smartphones. Many organisations are also using mobile apps to provide information to the public, and the privacy implications of this affects both the provider and the user.
The theme “Mobilise your privacy, stay safe online” encourages us all to consider such questions as:
- What are my responsibilities when using mobile apps?
- Have I checked my privacy settings lately?
- What are my rights under NSW privacy law?
- Who can help me with this process?
Under NSW privacy law, personal information means any information or opinion that allows an individual to be identified. The laws apply to NSW public sector agencies, public and private health practitioners and certain businesses in NSW, and they must abide by these laws when they collect, store, use, dispose or disclose your personal information.
If you believe your privacy has been breached, you can make a complaint. For more information about how to make a complaint, click here.
There are also things you can do to help keep your privacy safe:
never give out personal details to strangers
always use privacy settings when on social media or using apps
shred documents containing your personal details
keep passwords, PINS and other codes safe and do not share them
For more information on protecting your privacy, click here.
The federal government has introduced changes to the federal privacy legislation. From 12 March 2014 the changes include a set of new privacy principles that will regulate the handling of personal information by businesses and federal Australian government agencies.
These changes do not impact NSW privacy legislation which is administered by the IPC.
For more information on changes to the federal legislation, visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's website.