The Privacy Act

Private sector provisions in the Privacy Act 1998 regulate the way many private sector organisations, including the real estate industry, can collect, use, keep secure and disclose personal information. The new provisions mean that for the first time people can access information held by private sector organisations that they previously could not, such as financial information and customer details.

An organisation must take reasonable steps to make individuals aware that it is collecting personal information about them, the purposes for which it is collecting the information, and who it might pass the information on to. There are some restrictions on what an organisation can do with the personal information it collects and when it can disclose personal information or transfer it overseas.

Except for some special circumstances, individuals have a right to get access to personal information an organisation holds about them and to have the information corrected or annotated if the information is incorrect, out-of-date or incomplete. Individuals can also make a complaint if they think information about them is not being handled properly.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia has prepared information for members to assist in understanding their rights and obligations under the Act. To view the information, click here.