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Information Privacy Act 2009 – 1 January 2015

Information Privacy Regulation 2009 – 1 July 2014

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An agency, other than health agencies, must comply with the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) set out in Schedule 3 of the Act. Note: Except as provided by this Act, a failure to comply does not give rise to any civil cause of action. For the definition of ‘agency’, refer to section 18 of the Act. For documents that are exempt from the privacy principles, refer to Schedule 1 of the Act. For entities that are exempt from the privacy principles, refer to Schedule 2 of the Act.

  • Sections 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 38, 39, Schedules 1, 2, 3

Health agencies must comply with the National Privacy Principles (NPPs) set out in Schedule 4 of the Act. Note: Except as provided by this Act, a failure to comply does not give rise to any civil cause of action. For documents to which the privacy principles do not apply, refer to Schedule 1 of the Act. For entities to which the privacy principles do not apply, refer to Schedule 2 of the Act. A ‘health agency’ is defined in the Schedule 5 dictionary to mean the health department or a ‘Hospital and Health Service’.

  • Sections 11, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 30, 31, 32, 38, 39, Schedules 1, 2, 4, 5

An agency may transfer an individual’s personal information to an entity outside Australia only if: the individual agrees to the transfer; the transfer is authorised or required under a law; the agency is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the transfer is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health, safety or welfare of an individual, or to public health, safety or welfare, etc. Note: Except as provided by this Act, a failure to comply does not give rise to any civil cause of action.

  • Sections 33, 39

An individual who wishes to be given access to a document of an agency or a document of a Minister under this Act to the extent it contains the individual’s personal information may apply in the approved form to the agency or Minister for access to the document. For the definition of ‘personal information’, refer to section 12 of the Act. For the definitions of ‘document’ and ‘agency’, refer to the definitions found in the Right to Information Act 2009. An application must give sufficient information concerning the document to enable a responsible officer of the agency or the Minister to identify the document. The relevant application may be made for a child by the child’s parent. An access application is taken only to apply to documents that are, or may be, in existence on the day the application is received. Note: If, on its face, an access application purportedly made under this Act should have been made under the Right to Information Act because the application is for access to a document other than to the extent it contains the applicant’s personal information, the agency or Minister will inform the applicant accordingly. It is important to note that if access is given to a document, an access charge may be payable by the applicant.

  • Sections 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 40, 42, 43, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 84, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 196, 199; Regulations 3, 4

An individual who has had access to a document of an agency or a document of a Minister, whether or not under this Act, may apply in the approved form to the agency or Minister for amendment of any part of the individual’s personal information contained in the document that the individual claims is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading. For the definition of ‘personal information’, refer to section 12 of the Act.  For the definitions of ‘document’ and ‘agency’, refer to the definitions found in the Right to Information Act 2009. An application must provide sufficient information concerning the document to enable a responsible officer of the agency or the Minister to identify the document. The relevant application may be made for a child by the child’s parent. Note: An application may be refused where the document does not form part of a ‘functional record’ (that is, a record available for use in the day-to-day or ordinary performance of the agency’s or Minister’s functions). For other grounds or refusal, refer to section 72 of the Act. It is interesting to point out that upon refusal of an application, an applicant may require the agency or Minister, by written notice, to add a notation on the document pursuant to section 76 of the Act.

  • Sections 12, 13, 14, 17, 41, 42, 44, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 58, 60, 61, 63, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 196, 199; Regulation 3

There is to be a Privacy Commissioner who is a member of the staff of the Office of the Information Commissioner (the ‘OIC’). The privacy commissioner’s role is that of a deputy to the information commissioner, with particular responsibility for matters relating to the information commissioner’s functions under this Act.

  • Sections 11, 141, 142, 143, Schedule 5

An individual whose personal information is, or at any time has been, held by a relevant entity may make a privacy complaint to the information commissioner. For the definition of ‘privacy complaint’ and ‘relevant entity’, refer to section 164 of the Act. A privacy complaint must be made in writing and give particulars of the act or practice complained of. Note: An individual may not make a privacy complaint to the commissioner unless the individual has first complained to an appropriate person within the relevant entity under the complaints management system of the relevant entity and at least 45 business days have elapsed since the complaint was made. A complaint may be resolved by mediation/QCAT hearing. For details of how QCAT may dispose of a complaint, refer to section 178 of the Act.

  • Sections 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178

The giving of access to a document because of an access application or in compliance with the privacy principles is not taken for the purposes of the law relating to defamation or breach of confidence to constitute an authorisation or approval of the publication of the document or its contents by the person to whom access is given.

  • Sections 11, 179, Schedule 5

A document that has been placed in the custody of Queensland State Archives or a public library by a person is available for access to members of the community under this Act, subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by the person at the time the document was placed in the custody of the Queensland State Archives or public library.

  • Sections 190, 191
Reason for law

To provide for the fair collection and handling in the public sector environment of personal information. (Section 3)

Relevant links

Right to Information – formerly Freedom of Information [Queensland Government]
Privacy Rights [Queensland Government]
Right to Information [Queensland Government]
Privacy Principles

Office of the Information Commissioner
Community > Forms
Community > Guidelines
Annotated legislation
Publications
Decisions
Applications made under the wrong Act

Media article

How the law allows governments to publish your private information

Critique

There may be unnecessary duplication between this Act and the Right to Information Act 2009 in relation to access to information applications.

Suggested further reading

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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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