Information privacy complaints
If you believe someone has breached your right to information privacy, for example by inappropriately collecting, using or disclosing your personal information, you can make an official complaint to the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection. The Commissioner will attempt to resolve your complaint through conciliation. If the complaint cannot be resolved you can request that the matter is referred to VCAT.
Matters referred to VCAT by the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection under this Act include complaints about acts which amount to an interference with an individual’s privacy such as complaints:
- about the handling of personal information by Victorian public sector organisations including contracted service providers. Those complaints can include complaints regarding the collection and disclosure of personal information
- about access to health to personal information.
Before you apply
You cannot make an application direct to VCAT. You must first contact the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection about your complaint. If the Commissioner is unable to resolve the matter, they may refer the case to VCAT.
In cases of this kind, instead of being called the applicant, you are called the complainant.
Need help with your application?
VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.
Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public.
VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.
Legislation that applies to this type of case
Cases VCAT can hear
VCAT can hear cases under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 for cases about personal information, including collection, handling and access to the information
When we know that all parties have received a copy of the referral we schedule a directions hearing, where a VCAT member sets out a timetable for what will happen leading up to the final hearing. All parties must attend the directions hearing. They can attend in person or may have a lawyer or other representative appear on their behalf. Learn more about steps when VCAT opens a case.