29 Nov 2009

Flood of complaints to Privacy Commissioner

4:12 pm on 29 November 2009

The Privacy Commissioner has dealt with the highest number of inquiries in six years.

There were 806 written complaints and 6,632 telephone inquiries in the year to June.

According to the commissioner's annual report, 289 complaints were regarding government agencies, accounting for a third of the workload.

The single most complained about agency was the police, attracting 76 complaints.

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff says there has also been a rise in grievances regarding the health and finance sectors.

Digital breakdowns, including computer systems failures and unwarranted access via the internet also sparked frequent complaints, she says.

Ms Shroff says there is no particular reason for the jump in complaints, but suspects there is a general rise in awareness of privacy issues.