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Friday, April 28, 2006

ADT decision: exclusions from definition of personal information

This ADT preliminary decision (PN v Department of Education and Training (2006) NSW ADT 124) includes discussion about what is meant by “information or opinion about an individual’s suitability for appointment or employment as a public sector official”.

Why is this important?

Well, that sort of information is not covered by the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.

Doesn’t make much sense but that’s the law so we have had cases like this one dissecting the meaning of this exclusion in order to find out whether the NSW ADT has jurisdiction to consider a matter.

In this case the ADT decided that all of the complaints (about information provided to an insurer and rehabilitation organisation arising from a workers compensation claim) was personal information. Paragraphs 47 and following discuss previous decisions on the exclusion and the ADT's findings in this case.

Now the Tribunal will be able to proceed to consider the substance of the complaint.

Unfortunately we will probably have plenty more of these jurisdictional issues before the NSW Law Reform Commission completes its review of NSW privacy laws. The many exclusions from the definition of personal information (this is one of 11) create unjustified gaps in the law.

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