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 Definition A form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties negotiate with the help of an independent person. The aim is to sort out the dispute by agreement. . 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.

Time limits

You must ask for your complaint to be referred to VCAT within 60 days of receiving notice from the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection.

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 Definition The person or organisation applying to VCAT. , you are called the complainant.


There are no application or hearing Definition The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. fees.

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.

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:

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

Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014