In an age when apps, social media and smartphones can create many privacy pitfalls for consumers, it is important to keep watch on the personal information we share.
The TIO is proud to partner with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in raising awareness about privacy from 15 to 21 May 2016. The theme for this year’s Privacy Awareness Week is “Privacy is in your hands.”
Our role in privacy complaints
The TIO is recognised by the OAIC under the Privacy Act 1988 as an external dispute resolution scheme to handle privacy-related complaints.
The TIO has the power to look into complaints against telcos about privacy-related issues and credit reporting, which includes incorrect credit default listings.
Consumers raised privacy-related issues in more than 3,000 TIO complaints last financial year. Their problems ranged from issues such as failing to update address details, to much more serious matters involving disclosure of their whereabouts to violent ex-partners. Complaints included:
Providers holding inaccurate information about the consumer
“I have tried to get my provider to update my address details many times, but it has still sent four bills to my old address...”
Providers denying the consumer access to their information
“A debt for a phone bill in my old surname has been referred to a debt collector. I disagree with the charges, but the provider won’t discuss the account with me because they can’t identify me…”
Providers not following procedures to deal with unwelcome communications
“Since signing up for a new business landline, I have been receiving calls for the previous owner of the number. I asked the provider to change my number but they haven’t done anything…”
Providers disclosing personal information to a third party
“My abusive ex-partner found out my new address by ringing my phone provider and using my name and date of birth…”
The TIO and your privacy