Searching the PPS Register: Privacy issues

Once a security interest is registered, what information is publicly available?

Registrations on the Register include data about the grantor’s property or collateral and may contain information such as a person’s name and date of birth.

The following measures have been adopted to protect privacy concerns of grantors:

  • If the collateral is consumer property and can be described by serial number; no grantor details will be recorded on the Register.
  • If the grantor is a company, it will be identified by its ACN only.
  • If an individual grantor’s collateral is not described using a serial number, then their details will be required. The details are the grantor’s name and date of birth.(Section 153(1))
  • A search of the Register against an individual grantor’s name and date of birth, and use of the search results, will only be allowed for authorised persons and purposes as set out in Section 172(2) of the Act.

An illegal search may:
(i) incur civil penalties
(ii) constitute an interference of an individual’s privacy under the Privacy Act 1988, and/or
(iii) incur damages for loss caused by the unauthorised search or use of data.

To successfully make a search for security interests granted by the grantor, it is necessary to:
(i) know the exact serial number for the property, or
(ii) have the correct grantor name (given names and surname) and date of birth.

Secured parties
Registrations on the Register will also include data about the secured party, such as the secured party’s identifier and address for service.

It will not be possible to search the Register against the details of the secured party.

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