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Announcement: Federal Privacy Commissioner publishes case notes 1 and 2 for 2004
- In N v Private Insurer  PrivCmrA 1 the complainant raised concerns that an organisation had unnecessarily collected personal information during a claims process and that the organisation had a privacy collection form that was too broad. Following an investigation by the Office, the private insurer altered its forms to make them clearer. The Office closed the case as adequately dealt with by the private insurer.
- In O v Large Retail Organisation  PrivCmrA 2, the Office opened an investigation when it became aware that a retail company had disclosed hundreds of customer email addresses. In response to the investigation the retailer contacted all the people whose email address had been exposed, changed procedures for mass email messages, ensured experienced staff were available while mass email messages were sent out and developed templates for future email messages. Following this response, the Federal Privacy Commissioner was satisfied that the company had taken appropriate steps in the circumstances to rectify the situation and commended it on its quick action to remedy the problem.
The Federal Privacy Commissioner publishes case notes of finalised complaints that he considers would be of interest to the general public. Not all complaints are recorded in case notes so the published notes only illustrate the types of cases resolved by the Office rather than giving a comprehensive account of them.
Most cases chosen for inclusion in case notes involve new interpretation of the Act or associated legislation, illustrate systemic issues, or illustrate the application of the law to a particular industry. The notes do not identify the parties to the complaint. Identities are kept confidential to maintain the privacy of the parties involved.
The Privacy Act makes it a function of the Commissioner to endeavour to resolve complaints by conciliation (s.27(1)(a)). As a result, the outcome in any particular case reflects a number of factors, including the applicable law, the facts of the matter and the approach to the conciliation process taken by both complainant and respondent.
Please visit the Complaint Case Notes and Complaint Determinations page for more details.