OAIC resolving 97% of privacy complaints within 12 months

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 25 October, 2016

OAIC resolving 97% of privacy complaints within 12 months

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) fielded more than 2000 privacy-related complaints during FY16 and conducted 21 privacy assessments and audits.

The OAIC handled 19,092 privacy enquiries over the course of the financial year — up 18% from the prior year — and 2128 of these were privacy complaints, Australian Information Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said during a Senate Estimates hearing.

Using a combination of improved triaging, conciliation and investigations, the OAIC has been resolving 97% of privacy complaints within 12 months of receipt.

Over the financial year the OAIC also received and processed 107 voluntary and 16 mandatory data breach notifications, provided privacy advice to regulated entities over 230 times and developed 25 new privacy guidance resources.

The OAIC also fielded 510 applications for a review into a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and finalised 87% of its FOI reviews within 12 months of receipt. Of the 454 finalised reviews, only 18% required a formal decision from the commissioner.

“This reflects our approach to work with government agencies, to build the knowledge and approaches required to resolve FOI requests efficiently and, where a dispute arises, to attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement without the need for a formal decision,” Pilgrim said.

“To further assist in this area, our office is currently working to update the FOI guidelines to assist agencies and individuals alike. Providing clear, plain English advice as to the scopes and limits of the FOI rights, as well as clear guidance to agencies as to how to best manage those rights in the first instance, is the priority.”

Image courtesy of g4ll4is under CC

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