Privacy case notes 21-24, 2007

The Privacy Commissioner, Karen Curtis, has released four new case notes:

  • In S v Accounting Firm [2007] PrivCmrA 21, it was alleged that Tax File Numbers were improperly disclosed to a debt collection firm and a law firm for collection of outstanding fees. Although the Federal Police took no action,the Privacy Commissioner considered that the accounting firm disclosed the
    complainants’ Tax File Numbers to the debt collection firm and the
    legal firm in a manner not authorised under taxation, assistance agency
    or superannuation law. The Commissioner therefore found that the
    accounting firm breached paragraph 2.4 of the Tax File Number Guidelines 1992.
    The accounting firm offered the complainants compensation for the
    interference with their privacy. Both the law firm and the debt
    collection firm advised that they had destroyed the Tax File Number
    information from their records.   
  • In T v Retailer [2007] PrivCmrA 22, the Office investigated the improper listing of a payment default on an individual’s consumer credit information file even though the consumer had properly cancelled a door to door sale contract. After conciliation, at the retailer’s request, the payment default listing was removed from the complainant’s consumer credit file.
  • In U v Newspaper Publisher [2007] PrivCmrA 23, it was alleged that a newspaper inappropriately published personal information. The Commissioner dismissed the complaint.
  • In V v Medical Practitioner [2007] PrivCmrA 24, the complainant sought access to their medical records which had been used in legal proceedings. The medical practitioner refused on the grounds they were relevant to legal proceedings. The commissioner ruled that as the proceedings were complete, the medical pratitioner must provide the documents.
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