Privacy under GIPA
Government information is anything held in a record by Council, on behalf of Council by a government contractor, or by the State Records Authority.
A record means any document or other source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written or electronic form.
Government information sometimes identifies people. Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) a record that would reveal an individual’s personal information would not generally be disclosed unless there are strong public interest considerations in favour of disclosure.
Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW), personal information does not include the individual’s name and non-personal contact details that shows the person was exercising public functions.
In deciding whether to disclose personal information about you to a person applying for access to information, Council must consider whether you are likely to be concerned about the release of the information and whether those concerns are relevant to the public interest. If so they must:
- consult with you, and
- take into account any objections you may have to the release of the information.
If the Council consults you and decides to release the information anyway they:
- must tell you of this decision and your right to have it reviewed, and
- must not release the information while you still have the right to seek review.
You may also wish to contact The Office of the NSW Privacy Commissioner, which publishes factsheets about the handling of personal information and health information.
What is ‘personal information’?
‘Personal information’ in the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) is information or opinion about a person who can be identified from that information or opinion.
Information held by Council may identify you. If this is the case, the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act protects your personal information. The Health Records Information and Privacy Act protects a specific type of personal information, including information about your physical or mental health, disability, provision of health services or genetic information.
More information on the privacy principles and protections is available on the Privacy NSW website.