Australia/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.8 Data protection laws

Australian data protection laws are contained in a variety of Commonwealth, state and territory Acts, most frequently under the title of ‘Privacy Act’.  Principal amongst these is the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988.  Originally applying to Commonwealth Government entities, in 2000 the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 was introduced to cover some private sector organisations as well.  The various privacy Acts, Commonwealth and state, govern the use and disclosure of information about individuals. 

Privacy protections have also been introduced into two Commonwealth Acts covering telecommunications, as this is an area of responsibility that resides solely with the Commonwealth. The Telecommunications Act 1997 governs the conduct of telecommunications, telephone, and ISP providers in relation to individual privacy, while the earlier Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 deals with areas such as surveillance, interception and the like.  For detailed coverage of Australian privacy legislation see


Chapter published: 27-12-2013