Law enforcement and national security
Who is covered by the Privacy Act?
In general, Australian Government law enforcement agencies are covered by the Privacy Act, including, for example:
- Australian Federal Police
- Australian Customs Service
Some government law enforcement, intelligence-gathering and national security activities are not covered by the Privacy Act. This is either because:
- the agency is exempt from the Privacy Act (in particular, intelligence agencies such as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, and the Office of National Assessments) or
- it is a State or Territory government agency such as the NSW Police Force (see State and Territory privacy laws).
Other places to go
- The Privacy Commissioner has authority under the Crimes Act 1914 to investigate alleged breaches of the Spent Convictions Scheme, which allows individuals with old minor convictions not to disclose them in certain circumstances.
- For information on the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing legislation, see www.privacy.gov.au/law/other/aml.
- For information on photos and surveillance.
- The Office provides privacy advice to Australian and ACT government agencies on a number of matters including in relation to law enforcement and national security issues. The Office's public submissions can be viewed at www.privacy.gov.au/materials/types/submissions?sortby=65.
- If you think an agency or organisation has misused your personal information, you can make a complaint. To find out more, see Complaints.