An "interference" with privacy is a legal term that involves two aspects. First, there must be a breach of the law and, second, there must be some harm that arose from it.
The breach may be of:
- one of the Privacy Act's 12 privacy principles, which govern how people and organisations collect, use, disclose, store and give access to personal information
- a Privacy Code of Practice that governs a specific area, such as the Health Information Privacy Code
- the privacy provisions relating to data matching between government agencies.
The breach must have led to (or may lead to):
- financial loss or other injury
- adverse effect on a right, benefit, privilege, obligation or interest
- significant humiliation, significant loss of dignity, or significant injury to the feelings of the individual.
Importantly, there is no requirement to show harm in a complaint about access to or correction of personal information.
For real examples of complaints that have been considered by the Privacy Commissioner, see our case notes.