About privacy

This section provides a basic introduction to what privacy is and what the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) covers. For information about other Commonwealth privacy-related legislation, see the Other legislation page.

What is covered by privacy?

In Australia, privacy law generally relates to the protection of an individual’s personal information. Personal information is information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.

The Privacy Act includes thirteen Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The APPs set out standards, rights and obligations for the handling, holding, accessing and correction of personal information (including sensitive information). For more information about the APPs, see Australian Privacy Principles.

The Privacy Act also contains provisions that deal with:

For more information about what is covered by privacy, go to the What is covered by privacy page.

Who is covered by privacy?

The APPs apply to ‘APP entities.’ Most Australian and Norfolk Island Government agencies and some private sector organisations are APP entities.  

For more information about who is covered by privacy, go to the Who is covered by privacy page.

This page makes up a part of the OAIC Information Publication Scheme IPS

Protecting information rights — advancing information policy