QCAT awards financial compensation for breach of privacy

March 20, 2017 - 9:31am

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) recently published a decision about a privacy complaint that concerned the disclosure of information about the employee’s health to a number of other employees in the agency.

QCAT found that a breach of Information Privacy Principle 10 – ‘Limits on use of personal information’ was substantiated and ordered that the Queensland Police Service:

  • must not repeat the act
  • provide a written apology to the complainant for the interference with their privacy
  • reimburse the complainant the sum of $4,400 for expenses reasonably incurred; and
  • pay the complainant compensation of $5,000.

This is the first case in the Queensland privacy jurisdiction with an award of financial compensation by QCAT. As such, it provides the first judicial guidance on how much injury to a complainant’s feelings or humiliation suffered by a complainant is worth in the Queensland privacy jurisdiction.

It also serves as a timely reminder for agencies to ensure that employees are aware of their information privacy obligations. OIC has a range of free, online training courses that have primarily been designed for Queensland government agency employees.

For further advice or assistance, please contact our Enquiries Service on enquiries@oic.qld.gov.au or 07 3234 7373.