About privacy

The commentary on this page is not intended to provide legal advice or legal interpretation of any of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act). 

New South Wales (NSW) public sector agencies often need to collect, store and use your personal and health information to provide you and your family with services such as transport, health and education.

Privacy can mean many things – from the right to be left alone, to the right to have some control over how your personal or health information is properly collected, stored, used or released.

Privacy can be thought of in different ways, for example:

  • Physical privacy – such as bag searching, use of DNA
  • Information privacy – the way in which government agencies or organisations handle personal information such as age, address, physical or mental health records
  • Freedom from surveillance – the right to go about our daily lives without being intentionally observed or having all our actions caught on camera.

Privacy protection principles

NSW public sector agecies are legally required to abide by Information Protection Principles (IPPs) and Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) to ensure your privacy is protected.

These principles include requirements that information about you must be relevant, accurate and does not intrude upon your personal affairs.

Role of the Privacy Commissioner

The NSW Privacy Commissioner oversees NSW laws that protect your personal information and health information. These laws are the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act) and the Health Records Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIP Act).

View the interactive video below featuring the Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel. 

IPC Privacy Commissioner - General video

What is personal or health information?

The legal definition of ‘personal information’ is outlined in section 4 of the PPIP Act.

The legal definition of ‘health information’ is outlined in section 6 of the HRIP Act.

For more information go to the privacy laws page

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Found out more information about NSW privacy laws and regulations.
Link to About Privacy