Today we’re pleased to celebrate Right to Know Day by releasing a new online tool – AboutMe. AboutMe is a tool designed to help people request their personal information from agencies. The tool asks people for the key details that are required, then drafts a standardised email based on the responses.
The legal right to see information that agencies hold about you is a core given to you under Information Privacy Principle 6 (IPP6) of the Privacy Act. Here are some real-life examples from complaints we’ve worked on:
Smaller agencies, bigger problems
It may seem straightforward, but 60% of our complaints each year have to do with IPP6. What’s more, more than half of these complaints involve respondent agencies that deal with 5 or fewer IPP6 complaints per year. These stats suggest that the agencies running into trouble are the agencies do not have the experience to recognise an IPP6 request for what it is and respond to it in a timely manner.
When people ask these agencies for their information, the agency may not know what information they need to quickly process the request, what the person is asking for or even that the request is a request at all!
These situations can turn into time-consuming complaints to our office that damage the relationship between the individual and the agency.
By helping individuals create IPP6 requests in a standardised form, we hope to reduce the number of IPP6 complaints we receive each year – as well as take some of the pressure off those agencies that aren’t used to IPP6 requests.
So celebrate Right to Know Day by requesting your information from one of the agencies you work with. Use AboutMe to do it.