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Exemptions In The Privacy Laws

The following exemptions apply under the Information Privacy Act and the Health Records Act.

Courts and Tribunals

The privacy laws do not apply to the collection, holding, management, use, disclosure or transfer of personal or health information in relation to the judicial or quasi-judicial functions of a court or tribunal.

Publicly-Available Information

The privacy laws do not apply to personal or health information contained in:

  • A generally available publication
  • A library, art gallery, or museum for reference, study or exhibition
  • A public record that is available for inspection under the Public Records Act
  • Archives within the meaning of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)

Law Enforcement Agencies

There are certain components of the privacy laws (eg collection notices under IPP 1.3) which law enforcement agencies are not required to comply with if it believes on reasonable grounds the non-compliance is necessary for the purposes of its functions as a law enforcement agency.

Freedom of Information Act

IPP 6 and HPP 6 do not apply to a document containing personal or health information that would fall within the Freedom of Information Act.

Health Records Act

There are further exemptions under the Health Records Act which apply specifically to health information. For example an exemption applies to health information:

  • Collected, held, used or disclosed by an individual in connection with his or her personal, family or household affairs
  • Collected, used or disclosed by the news media in connection with its news activities.
  • About an individual who has been dead for more than 30 years.

Information Privacy Act

The Information Privacy Act does not apply to deceased persons or companies. It only provides rights to living persons.