Your right to privacy
You have a right to have your personal information kept private. We adhere to strict laws in social security, health, child support, redress and disability services.
We are bound by strict confidentiality and secrecy provisions in social security, families, health, child support, redress and disability services law. These provisions limit how we use your information and when and to whom it can be released. We also have obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.
What is privacy
The Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) contains 13 Australian Privacy Principles which regulate the way we collect, store, provide access to, use and disclose personal information.
The Privacy Act provides you with rights, including:
- being told generally what kind of information we are collecting and how we collect it
- being told generally why your personal information is being collected
- your personal information can only be collected for a lawful purpose
- finding out what information we hold about you and have it corrected if it is incorrect, out of date or incomplete, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 also supports this
- advising that your personal information must be stored securely and protected from interference or misuse.
When we collect your personal information it must be directly related to, or reasonably necessary for, 1 or more of our functions or activities.
The authority provided by the legislation we administer also allows us to collect your personal information.
In addition to requesting information from you, we may also obtain information about you and your family from other government agencies and third parties.
Any personal information we get from a third party is treated the same as if you provided it.
Use of information
Your personal information will be used in accordance with the Privacy Act. It won't be used for any purpose other than why it was collected. We may use your personal information if:
- it is authorised or required by law
- you've consented to the use
- the use meets one of the other exceptions in the Australian Privacy Principles.
When your personal information is collected, you'll usually be advised of its intended use at the point of collection. Your information may also be used by our other services, as authorised or required by law.
Your personal information won't be disclosed to any other person, body or agency unless:
- you give us permission
- it is authorised or required by law
- it meets one of the other exceptions in the Australian Privacy Principles
These privacy notices outline how we'll manage your personal information in connection with the:
- Express Plus Medicare mobile app
- Express Plus Centrelink and Lite mobile apps
- Centrelink online accounts
- Data analytics and service improvement
- Child Care Subsidy for customers
- Child Care Subsidy for personnel and PRODA
- Child Support online accounts
- Healthcare Identifiers Service
- Automation of Income Stream Reviews
- National Redress Scheme
- Students and associated travellers
- Virtual Service Centre Pilot.
You can read more about privacy, on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) website.
If you aren’t happy with how we've handled your privacy concerns you can also contact the OAIC directly. The OAIC is independent to us and has the power to investigate complaints about possible interferences with your privacy.
Please contact us in the first instance. We value your feedback and concerns and will make an effort to improve our services. The OAIC will generally ask us to conduct our own inquiry first and pass any findings on to them.
Page last updated: 1 December 2020
This information was printed 4 January 2021 from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/privacy. It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.