Step 2: Making a complaint to OVIC
If you have complained to the organisation you are concerned about and have not received a satisfactory response, you can make a complaint to using our online privacy complaint form.
If you have difficulty filling out the complaint form, please call 1300 006 842 for assistance.
You do not have to have a lawyer to make a complaint, and the process is free.
Can I complain to OVIC?
To make a complaint to OVIC under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) (PDP Act):
- Your complaint must be about a Victorian public sector organisation (e.g. Department, Council, Victoria Police, University, Minister, or a company providing services to government). If your complaint is about a company or a Federal agency (e.g. The Australian Tax Office or Centrelink), you should instead complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
- Your complaint must be about the handling of your personal information. We cannot handle complaints about health information. You should make a privacy complaint about health information to the Health Complaints Commissioner. If you think you’ve been treated wrongly by a Victorian public sector organisation but your complaint does not involve personal or health information, you may contact the Victorian Ombudsman.
- You should complain to the organisation first before complaining to OVIC.
Who else might be able to help me?
If your complaint is about a Commonwealth agency like the Australian Tax Office, Centrelink, or Australian Border Force, you should complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
If your complaint is about a government agency in another state or territory you should contact:
- New South Wales – Information and Privacy Commission
- Queensland – Office of the Information Commissioner
- Northern Territory – Information Commissioner
- Western Australia – Office of the Information Commissioner
- South Australia – Ombudsman SA
- Tasmania – Ombudsman Tasmania
- Australian Capital Territory – ACT Ombudsman
Other Victorian complaints bodies that might be able to assist you include the:
- Health Complaints Commissioner – handles complaints about health services and the handling of health information in Victoria.
- Victorian Ombudsman – handles complaints about the general conduct of Victorian government organisations, local councils, statutory authorities, and Victorian universities and TAFEs.
- Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission – identifies, exposes and prevents police misconduct and public sector corruption, and handles complaints about police misconduct and corruption in Victorian government, local councils, Parliament and the judiciary.
What you should know when making a complaint
Whether an organisation has interfered with your privacy depends on whether it handled your personal information in a way that is allowed by the PDP Act’s 10 Information Privacy Principles.
We call these the IPPs and we will discuss these with you throughout your complaint.
It might be useful for you to familiarise yourself with them and to read our guide on Your Privacy Rights.
What to remember when completing the privacy complaint form
- Please be specific and provide as much detail as you can – this will help us understand your complaint and save time asking you for more information;
- Attach copies of relevant documents (e.g. evidence that supports your allegations; documents showing how you have been affected and any response from the organisation);
- Remember we can only deal with privacy matters – if you have more general concerns about the organisation, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to help resolve these; and
- Be specific and realistic about what you want the organisation to do. It will be useful for you to read our guidance on Identifying realistic outcomes and Assessing compensation claims for loss in privacy complaints.
Privacy complaint form
You can make a complaint by completing our privacy complaint form.
You can also email us or call us on 1300 006 842 if you need any help filling out the form.
What happens after I submit my complaint form?
To find out what you can expect from our privacy complaint process, please read the next section on How OVIC handles privacy complaints.