Handle with care

Personal data can travel through numerous transactions, media and organisations — but it’s always personal — so handle it with care at every step.

Welcome to Privacy Awareness Week

A message from the Commissioner

Portrait photo of Timothy Pilgrim

This Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) we explore privacy through the theme Trust and Transparency. This speaks to the consumer and community trust that flows to organisations who handle personal information transparently, and with care, throughout the information life cycle.

Privacy is rarely about secrecy, but is about transparency, security, and choice. It’s about organisations being up-front about their personal information handling practices so that individuals can make informed choices about how they share their information. And it’s about respecting customer trust by maintaining strong security and information handling practices throughout the life cycle of personal data. 

This builds public and customer confidence, as it shows that privacy rights are being respected and protected. And that is essential to the both public and private sector organisations alike.

This PAW we will get a timely update on how Australian community and consumer trust in privacy is travelling, when we release the latest report in the longest-running national privacy survey, the Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey (ACAPS).

For businesses and agencies, this will update you on the community’s privacy expectations, including around transparency. For individuals, the results should make you think about how you manage your own privacy and personal information.

Our privacy is valuable. It’s part of who we are, and it’s vital to our freedom of choice and freedom of expression.

So this PAW, please look at our website, ask questions about privacy, and find out how you can handle your personal information with care. And if you’re a business, please consult our resources to see how you can ensure that information you handle is cared for in each and every transaction.

As the regulator of Australia’s Privacy Act 1988, our office is able to help you answer your privacy questions. Visit our website for a range of resources, or call our enquiries line if you want to discuss a privacy complaint.

Timothy Pilgrim

Australian Information and
Privacy Commissioner

Release of ACAPS 2017

Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey

Illustration of Australia with a speech bubble

Australians are concerned about their online privacy — but many are not making the most of the options available to protect themselves.

69% of us are more concerned about our online privacy than they were five years ago, but 65% do not read privacy policies.

Half of us do not regularly adjust our privacy settings on social media, or clear our browsing history.

Australians think the biggest risks to privacy today are:

  • Online services, including social media (32%)
  • ID fraud and theft (19%)
  • Data breaches and security (17%).

79% of us are uncomfortable with businesses sharing personal information with other organisations, and 93% are concerned about organisations sending personal information overseas.

Privacy concerns have resulted in the majority of Australians (58%) deciding not to deal with a business.

Watch the video

Read the transcript

Download the full report and infographic

Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2017 PDF (4.11 MB)

HTML version

Infographic PDF (1.11 MB) Print-ready PDF (1.41 MB)

Privacy impact assessment eLearning

A new eLearning course for beginners

Illustration of hand with Guide to Privacy Impact Assessments

The OAIC has launched our new Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) eLearning program as part of PAW 2017.

If you are initiating a new project or developing a new policy, our PIA eLearning program will help you get privacy right from the start.

The PIA eLearning course:

  • highlights the OAIC’s expectations about when to do a PIA and what it should involve
  • shows you the different steps involved in a PIA
  • provides you with tips and tools to help you complete your own PIA.

On completing the PIA eLearning, you will be able to:

  • identify when a PIA is necessary
  • conduct a PIA for your own projects
  • confidently identify privacy risks and develop strategies to address these risks.

The PIA eLearning program is free and available for all to access, use and share.


What's happening

  • PAW website

    The PAW campaign website has been relaunched! This site will hold all the dates, information and resources you need for the week, including training resources, videos, and partner logos.

  • Media release: Privacy Awareness Week launched for 2017

    With privacy attracting a record level of attention from Australian consumers and communities, Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, has today previewed key events of this year’s Privacy Awareness Week (15 to 19 May 2017).

    ‘Australians are more conscious of personal data issues than ever before, and the numbers tell the story,’ said Commissioner Pilgrim. ‘Our statistics show a 20 per cent increase in privacy complaints made to my office so far this financial year. This highlights just how Australian expectations of privacy are maturing each year.’

    Read more

  • Media release: Commissioner calls for action as privacy concerns grow

    Australians are concerned about online privacy, but are not using options already available to protect themselves. That’s the key finding from a national survey released today by the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner — who says both businesses and consumers “have work to do”.

    The 2017 Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey, released for Privacy Awareness Week reveals that 69 per cent of Australians say they feel more concerned about their online privacy than they did five years ago, and 83 per cent believe privacy risks are greater online than offline. However, the survey also shows that Australians do not use existing privacy tools to protect themselves online as well as they could.

    Read more

  • Privacy Impact Assessment eLearning course launched

    The OAIC has launched our new Privacy Impact Assessment eLearning program.

    Tne course is free and available for all to access, use and share.

    Read more


What's on 15–19 May

  • Industry debrief: Mapping the community's privacy expectations

    When: 11.00am to 12.00pm, Tuesday, 16 May 2017
    Where: Heritage Ballroom, The Westin Sydney, 1 Martin Pl, Sydney NSW

    Join the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, as he identifies the latest trends, challenges and consumer concerns highlighted in the Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2017. Market and social research organisation, Wallis, will provide a deep-dive analysis of the survey results.

  • iappANZ Privacy Awareness Week 2017 breakfast

    When: 7.30am to 10.00am, Wednesday 17 May
    Where: MinterEllison, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000

    Assistant Commissioner, Dispute Resolution, will present at the breakfast.

    Understanding the human side of data breaches – navigating and minimizing harm from a victim’s perspective. You will learn, not only what to do when facing an incident as an affected individual, but how you, as a privacy leader, can use these lessons to help your organisation better manage and respond to the risks to individuals from these incidents.

  • Growing up digital

    When: 12.30pm to 1.30pm, Thursday, 18 May 2017
    Where: Community Hall, Juanita Nielsen Community Centre, Corner Nicholson Street and Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo NSW

    The Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, will have an open discussion with the eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman-Grant, about digital privacy for teenagers. The Commissioners will discuss how parents, carers and social media organisations can assist teens and young people in understanding their privacy while growing up in the digital age. The panel will cover the topic from a privacy rights and mental health perspectives.

  • AGS FOI and privacy forum 2017

    When: Friday 19 May 2017
    Where: Hyatt Hotel, 120 Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla, Canberra

    The Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner will provide the keynote address at the forum.

    The forum will provide an overview of the current state of play under Commonwealth FOI and privacy laws, focusing on recent and emerging themes relating to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1988, as well as to provide contextual discussion on the interplay between FOI and privacy laws, other Commonwealth laws and meeting legal and policy objectives.

“Privacy is not about secrecy but about choice — choosing what you reveal, to whom, when and why. Good privacy practices keep that choice in your hands.”
“When privacy is built into products and processes, people understand how their data will be used and can make their own choices. This is how organisations gain the trust they need to innovate successfully.”

Partners 2017

ORC International
Optometry Australia
Break Thru People Solutions
Matrix Piping Systems
iShred Onsite Document Destruction
Afea Care Service
ACCO Brands Australia
Wallis Market and Social Research
Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA)
Colorado Attorney General's Office - Consumer Protection Section
IOOF Holdings Ltd
Advanced Piping Systems (Vic)
Cloud Insurance
ANZ Bank
DuluxGroup Australia
Curtin University
Tatts Group Limited
Learning Seat
Alex Solutions
Accountable List Brokers
Mater Health Services
AIA Australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Association of Market and Social Research Organisations
Department of Housing and Community Development
Australia Post
BAE Systems Australia Limited
The University of Melbourne
Information Integrity Solutions Pty Ltd
Intel Security
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Therapy Focus Ltd
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Department of Social Services
Virtual 6degrees
DUO Services Australia Ltd
Lakeridge Health
Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
Medibank Private
Melbourne Institute of Technology
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Google Australia
Transport for NSW
CV Check Ltd
CRM Brokers Pty Ltd
Connexxion Pty Limited
RCPA Quality Assurance Programs Pty Limited
Macquarie University Hospital
National Catholic Education Commission
Mercy Hospitals Vic. Ltd. (MHVL)
Department of Finance
Equity Trustees Limited
Health Care Innovate
National Capital Private Hospital
Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Enex Carbon
Green Point Christian College
CBHS Health Fund
ANMF (Vic Branch) Education Centre
P&N Bank
National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner
CARE Australia
PSMA Australia
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (Queensland Section)
iSelect Limited
Origin Energy
North East Water
Fair Work Ombudsman
Information Governance ANZ
First State Super Trustee Corporation
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Australian Community Support Organisation Ltd.
Tasmanian Health Service
Ballarat Health Services
Far West LHD
Brentwood Computer Club
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Eastern Health
Ernst & Young
PeopleCheck Pty Ltd
Castlemaine Health
Department of Communications and the Arts
Australian Federal Police
The Smith Family
Charter Customer Service
PMG Media
Bass Coast Health
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Salinger Privacy
Cybernetic Global Intelligence
Qantas Airlines
Sonic Healthcare
CatholicCare Melbourne
Analytics in Motion
Layer 8 Security
MMR Consulting Pty Ltd
WorkSafe Victoria
Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre
The Australian Bereavement Register
Deadlines Directt
Cyber Plus
Biometrics Institute
Webber Insurance Services
Public Transport Ombudsman
Resource Furniture
Expat International Pty Ltd
Credit and Investments Ombudsman
Henderson Matusch
Coherent Cloud
Westfund Health Insurance
Shred On Site
Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria)
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
Tenix Solutions
Australian Institute of Criminology
Virtual Information Technology
Australian Research Council
AGL Energy Limited
TJN Accountants
WA Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (WANADA)
Tego Insurance
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group
Stable Research
Dowerin Home & Community Care
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Cyber Risk Advisors
Security Centric
Privalis Group
Australian National Data Service (ANDS)
Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Veritas Check
Veritas Check (NZ) Pty Ltd
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
ORIMA Research
Zing Australia
Ausvet Pty Ltd
Federal Group
Australian Unity
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Novartis Australia
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
The WISE Academy Pty Ltd
IT Forum Gold Coast
Department of Infrastructure Planning and Logistics
Department of Health
Canberra Institute of Technology
Helium Digital Marketing
Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital
The Foundation for Young Australians
Australian Associaiton of Practice Management
Compliance Quarter
Your Beauty Guide
ABN AMRO Clearing Sydney Pty Ltd
Holiday Coast Credit Union
First Advantage Australia Pty Ltd
Electronic Frontiers Australia
Brainstorm Productions
Pacific Privacy Consulting
CMX Insurance Solutions Pty Ltd
Checked Australia
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Crown Melbourne Limited
Sydney Airport
Virgin Australia Group
Australian Dental Association WA Branch
National Australia Bank Limited
Shane L. Swansborough Bowman & Associates
The Filipino Australian News
Teachers Mutual Bank
Firefighters Mutual Bank
Diploma Travel
Tertiary Travel
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
Department of Education and Training
ACT Education Directorate
Grant Thornton Australia
Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland
Department of Human Services
VicSuper Pty Ltd
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Privasec Information Security and Governance
ACT Community Services Directorate
Lismore GP Super Clinic
Brunswick Private Hospital
Fair Work Commission
Department of Employment
Cushman and Wakefield
On Time Typing
L'Arche Brisbane Qld
South West Mortgage Broker / Mortgage Australia
Lincoln Indicators
Vodafone Hutchison Australia
National Blood Authority
Sensis Pty Ltd
Soul Business Solutions
John's and Co
Kate Macumber Consulting
Shred-X Secure Destruction
AISA (Australian Information Security Association)
ClearTEXT Consulting
Service Excellence Consulting
Certex International
Osborne Park Dental Clinic
National Grower Register Pty Ltd
Digital Transformation Agency
Dun & Bradstreet
Harmony Health Medical Centre
TAL Life Limited
Murray–Darling Basin Authority
Marks Consulting Australia
Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre
Loan Market
Klient Kulture
Australian Skills Management Institute
South East Palliative Care Ltd.
Ikydz Australia
Delphic Insurance Services
Transport Canberra and City Services
Australian Taxation Office
Halpin Partners Accountants
Wagga Wagga Active Physiotherapy
Caltex Australia Limited
Link Group
St Mary's College Maryborough
HPE Engineering Ltyd
Active Navigation
Telstra Super Pty Ltd
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Ltd
Bayer Australia Limited
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
Decipher Works
SmartDentist Pty Ltd
MobileMuster (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association)
CrimCheck Ltd
Command I.T. Services
Earth Insurance Pty Ltd
GRC Solutions
Defence Housing Australia
Communications and Media Law Association
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Crown Perth