Section 52 of the Privacy Act provides that the Commissioner may make formal determinations in relation to complaints investigated under section 36. Such a determination may dismiss the complaint or may find the complaint substantiated and declare that the respondent should: cease to breach the Act; take any reasonable steps to redress damage suffered by the complainant; or pay compensation to the complainant. Damage suffered by the complainant can include injury to feelings or humiliation. Section 52 determinations are not legally binding on the respondent. The Commissioner, the complainant, or the adjudicator for an approved privacy code can commence proceedings in the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates Court for an order to enforce a determination (s.55A).
The very large majority of complaints handled by the Commissioner are resolved without a s.52 determination. Nine have been issued since the commencement of the Privacy Act in 1989. For the full determinations, see our new decisions page.
Conditions of use
To see the conditions of use for these complaint determinations, see our Copyright notice.