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The complainant alleged that her husband telephoned her bank to obtain the balance of their joint cheque account. He also requested and was given the balances of the complainant's personal accounts. Information privacy principle 11 places limits on the disclosure of information. The bank admitted that the information about the complainant's accounts had been wrongly disclosed and apologised to the complainant. She was not satisfied that the apology resolved her complaint. She told me that the disclosure of this information led to an argument between herself and her husband which resulted in her husband assaulting the her.

Following discussions with my office the bank offered $500 compensation for the serious consequences that resulted from the disclosure. The complainant accepted this offer.

I found that the Bank did have adequate procedures in place to prevent this type of disclosure. The disclosure that occurred in this case was inadvertent and the employee concerned was spoken to about the matter. On this basis I discontinued my investigation.

October 1995

Disclosure of personal information - Bank - Details of complainant's bank accounts disclosed to husband - Serious consequences - Information privacy principle 11