About this section
Privacy law regulates the right of an individual to protect and control the use and disclosure of their personal information. There are laws at both state and federal level aimed at protecting the use of personal information. Personal information is any type of information specific to an identifiable person. This includes:
• Name and address;
• Sex and Age;
• Financial information;
• Marital status;
• Criminal record;
• Employment history.
Privacy laws regulate the way in which personal information is collected, used and transferred by companies and government bodies. It seeks to protect the privacy of individuals by ensuring that once personal information has been collected it is kept securely and not provided to anyone without permission, or to any entity that may misuse it.
At national level, privacy law in Australia is guided by a set of 13 "privacy principles" that regulate the handling of personal information by Australian Government agencies and some non-government companies and organisations. These principles are called the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), and their purpose it to protect the privacy of individuals in several ways, including:
• Preventing the collection of private information unless the information is reasonably necessary;
• Collecting personal information only if consent is given;
• Only using personal information for the purpose for which is was collected;
• Not using personal information marketing purposes unless this was the purpose for which it was given.
Other general privacy laws operate at state level to regulate the collection, storage, use, disclosure, security and disposal of personal information by companies and organisations.