Privacy Policy

This privacy policy explains how the Department of Immigration and Border Protection manages the personal information it collects and the information flows associated with that personal information.

This privacy policy is an overview, and does not provide details about all of our personal information management practices, procedures and systems. Part D of this policy provides other sources of information about our personal information management practices, procedures and systems.

Our role

Our key objectives are to:

  • contribute to Australia's future through managed migration
  • protect refugees and contribute to humanitarian policy internationally
  • contribute to Australia's security through border management and traveller facilitation
  • make fair and reasonable decisions for people entering or leaving Australia, ensuring compliance with Australia's immigration laws and integrity in decision-making
  • administer citizenship legislation and promote Australian citizenship.

Our obligations under the Privacy Act

This privacy policy sets out how we comply with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act). The Privacy Act sets out 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which regulate the collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information and how individuals can access and correct personal information held about them. We are legally bound by the APPs.

The Privacy Act defines 'personal information' as

'…information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:

  • whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
  • whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.'

Authority to collect, use and disclose information

We are authorised under our portfolio legislation and the Privacy Act to collect, use and disclose a range of personal information.

In understanding our authority to collect, use and disclose personal information under the Privacy Act, it is important to be aware that the we are an enforcement body for the purposes of the Privacy Act.

As an enforcement body, we can collect, use and disclose personal information (including sensitive information) where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more enforcement related activities conducted by or on behalf of us.

Enforcement

Enforcement related activities include:

  • detecting, preventing, investigating and prosecuting breaches of visa, immigration and citizenship law
  • identifying and locating unlawful non-citizens and resolving their immigration status, including the removal of unlawful non-citizens from Australia
  • preventing and reducing illegal migration, people smuggling and trafficking in persons
  • identifying and assessing claims by non-citizens for protection in Australia, including managing the detention or release into the community of protection claimants
  • assessing and enforcing compliance with visa and citizenship requirements
  • identifying and assessing prior to arrival those entitled to lawfully enter Australia
  • managing the entry and departure of people crossing the Australian border
  • resolving the identity, health, national security and criminal history status of people applying to enter Australia
  • collecting information to assess the identity, character and criminal history of applicants for Australian citizenship
  • cooperation with other agencies, including information-sharing, for law enforcement and border security purposes, and the protection of public revenue.

Sensitive information

'Sensitive information' is a type of personal information and means:

  • information or an opinion about an individual's
    • racial or ethnic origin
    • political opinions
    • membership of a political association
    • religious beliefs or affiliations
    • philosophical beliefs
    • membership of a professional or trade association
    • membership of a trade union
    • sexual orientation or practices
    • criminal record
  • health information about an individual
  • genetic information about an individual that is not otherwise health information
  • biometric information that is to be used for the purpose of automated biometric verification or biometric identification
  • biometric templates.

Outline of this policy

Part A - Collection, use and disclosure of information explains our general information handling practices and covers how and for what purpose we collect, use and disclose personal information, including disclosures outside Australia. This part also outlines the kind of personal information that we collect.

Part B - How we hold information explains how and for what purpose we hold the personal information that we collect.

Part C - Access, correction and complaints explains how an individual can access and seek to correct their personal information. It also explains how an individual can complain about a breach of the Privacy Act, including the APPs, and how we will deal with such a complaint.

Part D - Additional information contains links to additional information about our personal information management practices, procedures and systems.