Authorised officers must comply with the Information Privacy Principles

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Councils, public sector agencies and authorised officers, as well as contractors who provide services under a State contract are required to comply with the Information Privacy Principles. The Information Privacy Principles are rules about when and how your personal information may be collected and used, under the Information Privacy Act 2000 (s 9) (“ IPA ”). Your personal information includes your name and address, but also photographs of you.

For example, one of the Principles states that a person or organisation bound by the principles must not collect your personal information unless it is necessary for their agency’s functions or activities, and that the person or organisation must only collect personal information by lawful and fair means, and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. The organisation must also take reasonable steps to inform you about why the information is being collected, among other things (Information Privacy Principle 1.3).

The Principles also state that the person or organisation collecting your personal information can only use it for the purpose for which it was collected, or for another purpose which you would reasonably expect. The complete list of the Principles can be accessed in the IPAor on the Privacy Commissioner’s website.

An agency acting in a law enforcement capacity is not required to comply with some of the Information Privacy Principles ( IPA, s13). This does not apply, however, to individual authorised officers. If you believe that there has been a breach of the Information Privacy Principles, you can complain to the Privacy Commissioner. The Commissioner has the power to refer matters to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

If you are concerned that your information, such as your photograph, have been collected inappropriately and want to know if there has been a breach of the Information Privacy Principles, you should contact a lawyer.

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