Privacy

The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) is concerned with your personal information. The rules governing how we deal with your personal information are contained in a set of Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). Below is a summary of our practices and procedures regarding access to and correction of personal information. Additional information can be found in our privacy policy.

The Privacy Act also requires the department to notify an individual of certain matters when we collect personal information about them. Form 1442i is the notification of those matters.

Data quality

We take steps to ensure that the personal information we collect is accurate, up to date and complete. These steps include correcting personal information that is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading when it is reasonable to do so.

Regular audits and quality inspections are conducted to ensure the accuracy and integrity of information is checked regularly and any systemic data quality issues are identified and resolved promptly.

Access to personal information

Individuals can access information about themselves in departmental documents (other than exempt documents) under the Privacy Act 1988 or Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

An individual can seek to obtain original documents or copies of personal information by approaching us.

The individual will be requested to complete Form 424A Request for access to documents or information. This will allow us to track and monitor each request to ensure that we meet our legislative obligations under the FOI Act or Privacy Act. We have a statutory 30 day period to respond to the request.

Corrections of personal information

Individuals can seek to amend or annotate their personal information. How we amend or annotate a record depends on a number of circumstances.

Australian citizens
Australian citizens seeking to change their personal information on their evidence of Australian citizenship such as name or date of birth should lodge Form 119 Application for evidence of Australian citizenship with the required documents and fee in accordance with instructions on the form.

ImmiCard holders and changes under FOI and Privacy Acts
Requests to change biographic details on an ImmiCard (name or date of birth) can be made by completing an ImmiCard amendment request. Applicants will need to attach official documentary evidence and/or an Australian Government issued Change of Name or Marriage Certificate to support the requested change.

We will consider issuing a new ImmiCard with amended biographic details following assessment of the online request and the evidence provided. The request might be referred to a case manager for an identity assessment as part of the visa process.

Non Australian citizens (permanent and temporary visa holders) with supporting documentation
Where an individual has official documentation in support of an amendment or correction, such as a passport or Australian Government issued Change of Name or Marriage Certificate, they should submit their request in writing using Form 1022 - Notification of Change in Circumstance or Form 1023 - Notification of Incorrect Answers. The form can be submitted through an IMMIaccount or sent to the nearest DIBP office together with high-resolution scans (600dpi) of certified documentary evidence to support the identity change. The change can be actioned by the authorised case officer or relevant visa processing area.

Where the change is not supported by documented evidence
Where an individual’s request is not supported by official documentary evidence, and a decision is made under the Privacy Act to refuse access, the individual can apply under the FOI Act to amend or annotate their personal records.  A decision to refuse amendment under the Privacy Act must include the reasons for refusal and the individual should be advised that they can complete Form 424C - Request for amendment or annotation to personal records and submit it to us for a decision under the FOI Act. They should also be advised that obtaining documentary evidence is highly recommended.

Under the legislation that governs it, we do not have any power to ‘create’ a new identity, including where a person chooses to change their name.  Under Australian law, the State and Territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) are the responsible authorities for preferred name changes.

Complaints

Making a complaint to us
If a person believes we have wrongly collected or handled their information, they can:

  • telephone our Global Feedback Unit on 133 177 during business hours
  • complete an online feedback form
  • write to:

The Manager
Global Feedback Unit
GPO Box 241
Melbourne Vic. 3001
Australia

  • contact us directly through any of our offices.

We are committed to the quick and fair resolution of complaints. Every complaint will be investigated and complainants will be advised of the outcome.

Making a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
If a person is unsatisfied with our response, they can write to the OAIC. The OAIC can investigate privacy complaints about the protection of personal information, order compensation to be paid where warranted and direct departments to change the way they handle personal information. If a person needs help lodging a compliant with the OAIC, they can call the OAIC Enquiries Line on 1300 363 992.  If calling from outside Australia, they can call: +61 2 9284 9749

The OAIC can receive privacy complaints through:

  • the online Privacy Complaint form (refer to the OAIC’s website)
  • by mail (if a person has concerns about postal security, they might want to consider sending their complaint by registered mail)
  • by fax
  • by email (email that is not encrypted can be copied or tracked).

Contact details for the OAIC are:​

Email​​
enquiries@oaic.gov.au

Fax
+61 2 9284 9666https://www.border.gov.au/about/access-accountability/plans-policies-charters/policies/privacy/part-c

Post
Sydney Office
GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001

A person can make a complaint directly to the OAIC rather than to us, however it is likely that the OAIC would recommend that a person try to resolve the complaint directly with us in the first instance.