Can I ask a business to stop sending me unsolicited mail (`junk` mail)?
Yes, although it depends upon the circumstances in which the business collected your personal information.
Some small businesses do not come under the Privacy Act (for more information see Information Sheet 12 issued in 2001).
Those businesses that are covered by the Privacy Act must stop sending you unsolicited mail if you ask them to, unless they originally collected your information in order to send you direct marketing material.
Example 1: XYZ Company used your warranty details to send you marketing material about other unrelated products.
XYZ Company would have to stop sending you their direct marketing material if you asked them to do so. They would also have to let you know that they planned to use your information for direct marketing. Depending upon the circumstances, XYZ Company should be telling you how you can stop receiving unsolicited mail every time they contact you, unless they had your consent to send you direct marketing material.
Example 2: ABC Marketing Company collected your personal information for the specific purpose of sending you direct marketing material about their products.
The Privacy Act does not prevent ABC Marketing Company from sending you unsolicited mail. ABC Marketing Company must still meet other obligations in the Privacy Act, which among other things mean that they must let you know the purposes for which they have collected your personal information, the organisations that they usually pass your information on to, and the fact that you are entitled to access your personal information (for more information about organisations' obligations under the Privacy Act see the Guidelines to the National Privacy Principles.