Website privacy breach

In February 2014, a routine report was released on our website that unintentionally allowed access to some personal information about people who were in immigration detention on 31 January 2014. This information was accessible online for a short period of time before it was removed from our website.

In March 2014, we sent letters to people whose personal information was unintentionally able to be accessed from this report. This letter advised affected people that any effect the incident has on their immigration status will be considered in the assessment process applicable to their circumstances. Many people have now had their claims assessed.

How to provide information if you were affected by the website privacy breach

We will consider any protection claims you want to make about the privacy breach. Depending on your immigration status, you might be sent another letter inviting you to provide further claims. You should include specific and detailed reasons as to why the privacy breach means you cannot return to your home country or country of usual residence.

Providing these additional claims does not necessarily mean that you will go through a full protection assessment process or that you will be granted a protection visa. We will consider your specific situation and any claims you make on an individual basis.

If you are living in the community, it is important for you to keep your contact details current with us. This includes the address where you live and your phone number so we can contact you with important information about your immigration status. Remember, this is also a condition of holding a bridging visa and being able to live in the community.

To update your contact details, call 1300 728 662 with your name, date of birth, boat identification number, home address and contact phone number.

People who have lodged a valid protection visa application and are waiting for a decision

If you have already made protection claims that we are assessing, you should talk to your protection visa case officer if you have any further information to provide about the effect of the privacy breach. If you have a migration agent, they can help you with this. We will consider any additional information you provide in our assessment.

Telling us about your concerns about the privacy breach does not necessarily mean that you will engage Australia's protection obligations and be granted a protection visa. If you are assessed as not engaging Australia's protection obligations, you must be prepared to leave Australia.

People who arrived lawfully and have not yet lodged a protection visa application

If you were affected by the privacy breach, you will be invited to put forward any concerns. You should include specific and detailed reasons as to why the privacy breach means you cannot return to your home country or country of usual residence.

We will assess any information you provide about how the privacy breach has affected you.

People whose application for a protection visa has been refused and is being reviewed

If you have any concerns about the privacy breach and have made an application for review, you need to provide your additional information to the Migration and Refugee Division (MRD) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (formerly the RRT). They will consider these claims when they assess your case. If you have a migration agent, they can help you with this.

Advising the MRD of your concerns about the privacy breach does not necessarily mean that you will engage Australia's protection obligations and be granted a protection visa. If the MRD affirms the decision that you do not engage Australia's protection obligations, you must be prepared to leave Australia.

People whose protection visa application was refused and the decision affirmed under RRT or MRD review

If we refused your application for a protection visa and this decision was affirmed by the RRT or MRD, you will be invited to provide us with information that you want to have considered about the privacy breach before your removal from Australia.

Advising us of your concerns about the privacy breach does not necessarily mean that you will engage Australia's protection obligations and be granted a protection visa. If you are assessed as not engaging Australia's protection obligations, you must be prepared to leave Australia. 

Voluntary returns

You can choose to return home or to your country of lawful permanent residence at any time. If you are thinking about returning home, you might be able to get assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The type of assistance is based on your individual circumstances.