Privacy laws do not exist in all jurisdictions across Australia, although some have adopted administrative guidelines that are largely based on privacy laws. Where legislation or guidelines have been adopted, generally their coverage is complementary and their obligations similar. Most privacy laws in Australia and overseas are based on internationally accepted standards set down by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1980 and more recently by the European Union in 1995.
This information sheet deals only with laws that regulate information and health privacy in Australia across the Commonwealth, States and Territories. References are also included to human rights laws establishing a general right to privacy.