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Privacy awareness

During this reporting period we continued to promote awareness and understanding of privacy rights in the community, with a focus on data breaches, online security, credit reporting, health information and personal data.

Over the past year, in Australia and around the world, privacy has come into sharper focus as one of the top priorities for organisations and the public alike.

Our personal information is a critical input to the economy and government agencies, and we are seeing heightened awareness of privacy issues as organisations and agencies face increasingly complex data protection challenges.

Privacy Awareness Week is an annual event that highlights the importance of protecting personal information, and helps organisations, agencies and the public navigate the privacy landscape.

For organisations and agencies, it’s a reminder to review privacy practices and policies and educate their staff about information handling obligations.

For the public, it’s an opportunity to share information and practical tips that empower people to take control of their personal information.

Our central message is ‘Don’t be in the Dark on Privacy’, and over the course of the week we will explore a series of privacy priorities including data breaches, online security, your credit, health information and your data.

We hope that you will all join the conversation, at our events and on social media, to shine a light on these important issues.

Angelene Falk, Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, in ‘Welcome to Privacy Awareness Week’, September 2019.

Reaching our audiences

We offered training and guidance on the Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code (which commenced in July 2018) to Australian Government privacy officers, including face-to-face training sessions (118 attendees).

In early 2019, we ran a social media campaign to promote the My Health Record system’s privacy controls.

Speaking engagements

This year we participated in 34 speaking engagements aimed at privacy professionals.


In 2018–19 we received 238 media enquiries: 219 were about privacy and 25 of those about My Health Record; the other 19 enquiries were about the OAIC and FOI.

Figure 2.3: Media enquiries received during 2018–19

 14 in July; 7 in August; 11 in September; 17 in October; 12 in November; 7 in December; 23 in January; 32 in February; 48 in March; 65 in April; 55 in May and 26 in June.