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On this section of the site, you'll find our publications and collections of research material. Look at the links on the left hand side of this page for the different categories of information. If you want to look for material on a particular topic, use the general search button or advanced search link (both available at the top of this page).
The complainant requested access to a letter written by his doctor to a specialist. The doctor maintained that letters written to specialists are "private" and in any case he had not retained a copy of the letter.
I noted that a specification that a document is "private" did not necessarily amount to a reason for withholding the information under the Privacy Act. However, in this case the complainant had obtained a copy of the letter he was seeking from another source. In this circumsta...
The complainant received a telephone call from a political party. She inquired as to how they had obtained her "confidential" telephone number and was told that party had an agreement with a telephone company whereby they obtained a directory of numbers.
The complainant asked me to investigate this disclosure by the telephone company. However, as this had occurred prior to the 1 July 1993 I had no jurisdiction to investigate this complaint.
The complainant asked me to investigate a decision of the Department of Social Welfare to refuse to provide the complainant with the identity of a person who had made serious allegations about the complainant's treatment of her children.
The Department informed me that it did not in fact hold the identity of the person who made the allegations against the complainant. However, it did hold a small amount of information about this person that may have been identifying information in the h...
The complainant asked me to investigate the refusal of the Department of Social Welfare to allow him access to his file in its entirety. The Department had provided the complainant with access to his file but did not allow him to see the original version of some of the pages. Instead the complainant was provided with a typed copy of one page and a photocopy of another page which omitted identifying information about the person who had provided the information in these documents.
The complainant asked me to investigate the decision of the Commissioner of Police to refuse the complainant access to photographs used in evidence at his trial.
When I examined the photographs in question, I found that only two of them were of the complainant. The other photographs did not constitute personal information about the requester and I therefore did not have jurisdiction to consider the complaint under the Privacy Act. The photographs did however constitute official informat...
The complainant asked me to investigate the actions of a firm of solicitors in disclosing information to his wife consisting of statements of the complainant's income and expenditure.
This information had previously been disclosed in the course of a Court hearing. The complainant also alleged that his former spouse had in turn disclosed this information to the Inland Revenue Department.
The disclosure by the solicitors took place prior to 1 July 1993 when the Privacy Act came into...
'Google's aim of making their privacy policies simpler and clearer is a move in the right direction. We have encouraged Google to go down that track and have said how important it is for privacy policies to be readily understandable and as clear as possible. If these changes do that, then that is a good thing for Google users.
Google's plans for increased linkages in user identity data across Google products and services to provide a seamless user experience do raise concerns and it me...
On the Record is a ready reference and practical guide for managing common situations that people in the health sector face. It uses examples to illustrate how privacy law works and gives advice on developing policies. Our aim is that it will give practical advice that you can apply easily within your workplace.
However, On the Record cannot answer every question and it does not stand alone. It needs to be read alongside the rules in the