Welcome to Privacy Awareness Week

A message from the Commissioner

Portrait photo of Timothy Pilgrim

This year's Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) theme, Privacy in your hands, reinforces the message that organisations, agencies and individuals must be vigilant in maintaining a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities for the handling of personal information.

While the regulation of privacy will continue to evolve, particularly as technology advances, businesses, agencies and individuals must also step up to the challenge of taking control of privacy management.

For organisations and agencies, that means incorporating privacy into strategic planning, making privacy a governance priority, and taking a ‘privacy by design’ approach to integrate privacy management into all projects, products and practices.

For individuals, it means making smart privacy choices by understanding your rights, and also the consequences of choices you make to share personal information. We can exchange our personal information for better services and connections, but we need to make informed decisions that weigh up the pros and cons of the exchange.

For all of us, taking charge of our personal information also means using the knowledge, skills, guidance, and assistance that is available from organisations such as the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). We can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act), our Enquiries line is available to answer your questions, and our website has a range of resources to help you with what you need to know.

Our privacy is valuable and worth protecting. It is a vital part of who we are, and the Privacy Act recognises this by providing rights and protections for our personal information.

So whether you are a business, government agency, family or individual, take a moment during Privacy Awareness Week to look at our website, or ask us questions, to ensure you’re best equipped to manage your privacy well.

Timothy Pilgrim
Acting Australian Information Commissioner

Professor Joe Cannataci

United Nations Special Rapporteur for Privacy

Portrait photo of Joe Cannataci

Professor Cannataci was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy in July 2015. He is the Head of the Department of Information Policy & Governance at the Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences of the University of Malta. He also holds the Chair of European Information Policy & Technology Law within the Faculty of Law at the University of Groningen where he co-founded the STeP Research Group.

An Adjunct Professor at the Security Research Institute and the School of Computer and Security Science at Edith Cowan University Australia a considerable deal of Joe’s time is dedicated to collaborative research. He was overall co-ordinator for the SMART and RESPECT projects dealing with surveillance and currently also co-ordinates MAPPING dealing with Internet Governance www.mappingtheinternet.eu.

A UK Chartered Information Technology Professional & Fellow of the British Computer Society, he also continues to act as Expert Consultant to a number of international organisations.

He has written books and articles on data protection law, liability for expert systems, legal aspects of medical informatics, copyright in computer software and co-authored various papers and textbook chapters on self-regulation and the Internet, the EU Constitution and data protection, on-line dispute resolution, data retention and police data. His latest book “The Individual & Privacy” is published by Ashgate (March 2015).

Interested in hearing Professor Cannataci? Register for the PAW business breakfast today.


What's happening

  • Media release: UN privacy rapporteur to join Australian PAW 2016

    Acting Australian Information Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, announced today that this year’s Privacy Awareness Week will take on an international perspective, with the first visit to Australia by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Privacy, Professor Joseph (Joe) Cannataci.

    Read more

  • PAW website

    For the first time, our PAW campaign has a dedicated campaign site.

    This site will hold all the dates, information and resources you need for the week, including training resources, videos, and partner logos.

    Stay tuned!

  • Media release: OAIC launches Privacy Awareness Week (15–21 May)

    ‘The theme for Privacy Awareness Week 2016 is privacy in your hands,’ said Acting Australian Information Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim.

    ‘For businesses and government agencies this means that privacy is part of good governance and made a key priority. For individuals, it means understanding your rights, making choices and taking charge of your privacy in the digital age.’

    Read more

  • OAIC launches 10 privacy tips for parents and carers

    The Australian Privacy Commissioner is asking parents and carers to prioritise their children’s privacy this Privacy Awareness Week (15 to 21 May 2016).

    ‘In the information age, your children’s personal information is one of their most valuable assets,’ said Mr Timothy Pilgrim, Australian Privacy Commissioner.

    ‘While online environments allow young Australians the opportunity to express themselves and build their identity, sharing personal information online is not without risks.’

    Read more


Check out these four categories to see what's available.

Think you protect your privacy?

Privacy tips for young people

PDF (4.68 MB)

Privacy Awareness Week 2016 Business Breakfast

Security tips — Facebook PAW 2016

Setting up new accounts — Facebook PAW 2016

To tag or not to tag, that is the question... — Facebook PAW 2016

Posting: The quick mental checklist — Facebook PAW 2016

OAIC privacy governance priorities for 2016 — Ashurst Business Breakfast

A message from the Commissioner — to all Australians

A message from the Commissioner — to Australian businesses and agencies

A message from the Commissioner — to Australian parents and carers

What is privacy?

How do I make a privacy complaint?

How do I access my personal information?

How to make a privacy complaint (Auslan)

“Privacy is not secrecy. It is about giving individuals control over how their personal information is handled; creating customer confidence and trust. As such, good privacy practices and great innovation directly support each other.”
“Far from being irrelevant in the online age — the very nature of technological developments that facilitate communication, storage, use, aggregation, and engagement mean that privacy is now embedded in, and fundamental to, everything that we do.”


What's on 15-21 May

  • PAW business breakfast

    When: 7.30am, Monday 16 May
    Where: Westin Hotel, Sydney, NSW
    Cost: $150 / $75 concession
    Book a table for up to eight people and get a 10% discount

    Come and hear the Acting Australian Information Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, Professor Joseph Cannataci, speaking at the OAIC’s annual business breakfast.

  • ANU public lecture

    When: 6pm, Tuesday 17 May
    Where: Finkel Theatre
    131 John Curtin School of Medical Research Stage 1
    Garran Road
    Australian National University, ACT
    Cost: Free

    Professor Joseph Cannataci will be presenting a public lecture at the Australian National University in Canberra.

  • PwC breakfast: Take Control of Data Breach Handling

    When: 8am, Wednesday 18 May
    Where: PwC Office, Level 10, 201 Sussex St, Sydney
    Cost: N/A

    Please note this event has reached capacity.

    Assistant Commissioner, Karen Toohey will chair a panel of experts to discuss how to take control of data breach handling and protect your organisation's reputation.

  • Ernst & Young Business Breakfast

    When: 7.30am, Thursday 19 May
    Where: Ernst & Young, Melbourne

    Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim will explore the issue of personal data and commercial integrity — discussing how good privacy governance supports open data initiatives. This is a great opportunity to hear the latest thinking on integrating strong privacy governance in the open data age.

  • Ashurst Business Breakfast

    When: 7.30am, Thursday 19 May
    Where: Ashurst, Sydney

    Event fully subscribed

    Assistant Commissioner, Angelene Falk will outline issues and challenges for the year ahead, and exploring new thinking on big data and deidentification, current debates around the definition of personal information, and the future of data breach notification.

Partners 2016

Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group
Fair Work Ombudsman
Western Union Financial Services
AIA Australia
Australian National University
Department of Finance
Dun & Bradstreet PTY LTD
Association of Market and Social Research Organisations
ORC International
Southern NSW Local Health District
BAE Systems Australia Limited
Public Relations Institute of Australia
National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA)
Connexxion Pty Ltd
Accountable List Brokers
Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
My Privacy Policy
Information Integrity Solutions Pty Ltc
Social Research Centre
Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA)
Peoplebank Australia
Office of the Information Commissioner (Qld)
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Intel Security
Hardwick Psychological Services
Your Digital File
Northern Territory Government Department of Health
Transport Accident Commission
In Vitro Technologies Pty Ltd
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Adventures of a Sailor Girl
IOOF Holdings Ltd
Financial Synergy
Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV)
Territory and Municipal Services
Grant Thornton Australia Limited
Brainstorm Productions
Australia Post
Challenger Limited
Salinger Privacy
Communicare Inc
Cbus — Construction & Building Industry Super
REA Group Ltd
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
TAL Life Limited
Contractor Cloud
Credit and Investments Ombudsman
Croesus Project Services
Business First WA Pty Ltd
Virtual 6degrees
Gangitano Business & Communications Consultant
FOI (WA) Services, Advice and Solutions
Biometrics Institute
Mater Health Services
Service Excellence Consulting
Certex International
CARE Australia
Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Logic Digital
Engage Digital (a MicroChannel company)
Carers Queensland Inc.
Citigroup Pty Limited
Queensland Treasury
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General
Google Australia
UCA — Dapto Uniting Church
Tego Insurance
Tatts Group Limited
Salmat Limited
The University of Melbourne
Chan & Naylor Australia
Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA)
Optometry Australia
Archdiocese of Brisbane
Speak Out Association of Tasmania Inc
ContactAbility Direct Marketing
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Privacy & Access Council of Canada (PACC)
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
Department of Employment
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
CRM Brokers
National Capital Authority
Australian Public Service Commission
Webber Insurance Services
State Trustees
Department of the Environment
Community Services Directorate
Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre
Australian Human Rights Commission
nib health funds
National Health and Medical Research Council
GRC Institute
ACT Government
ACA Health Benefits Fund
Communications and Media Law Association
Australian Government Department of Social Services
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Canberra Institute of Technology
IP Australia
Mercy Public Hospitals Incorporated
Teachers Health Fund
Henderson Matusch Pty Ltd
Kmart Australia Limited
National Archives of Australia
Sydney Airport
Deloitte Australia
GRC Solutions
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Transport for NSW
Crown Melbourne Limited
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
Teachers Mutual Bank
Diploma Travel
Tertiary Travel
Department of Human Services
Ernst & Young
ACT Education Directorate
Australian Council on Children and the Media
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Department of Defence
Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA)
Microbe Pty Ltd
Holiday Coast Credit Union
Mt Sierra College
Expat International
Australian Government Department of Education and Training
Shred On Site
Attorney General's Department
Bob Burns Blinds
Australian Unity
Secure Computer Recycling and Disposal
Kids Helpline
Parentline QLD+NT
Westfund Health Insurance
Break Thru People Solutions
First State Super
National Australia Bank (NAB)
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited
Murray-Darling Basin Authority
Australian Association of Practice Management
Cyber Plus
Data Kitchen
Data Masker
Urathane Solutions Pty Ltd
Spriggins Orthopaedics
Advanced Piping Systems
Resource Furniture
Fair Work Commission
Taj Tandoor
Australian Crime Commission
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Quality Online Research
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
Marsh Pty Ltd
Australian Institiute of Skills Management
ORIMA Research
ADMA (Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising)
Velg Training
Privalis Group
National Capital Private Hospital
ACT Environment and Planning
National Blood Authority
Suburban Taxis
Marrickville Council (Inner West Council)
Bureau Of Meteorology
Family Court of Australia