Revealed: The list of companies that have applied to access your personal information

Gone are the days of keeping things to ourselves – now it is literally as if Big Brother is watching

Gone are the days of keeping things to ourselves – now it is literally as if Big Brother is watching us at every turn. This afternoon the Federal Government has released a list of more than 60 federal, state and local government agencies that have applied to access metadata of Australians.

The list, released under Freedom of Information laws, showed agencies that have sought to access telecommunications data without a warrant.

Shockingly, as well as numerous federal departments, requests were also made by Harness Racing NSW, Australia Post, Roads and Maritime Service NSW and RSPCA VIC.

After the Federal Government’s data retention bill was passed last year, agencies such as the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Australian Federal Police and state police forces were granted access to everyday Australians’ metadata, however these latest requests do not fall under those laws.

However not everything has been revealed: there are four agencies seeking access to personal information that have been withheld by the Attorney General’s Department on the grounds that releasing them would damage commonwealth/state relations.

“During consultation, these four agencies clearly indicated that disclosure of this information would damage the relationship between the department and the relevant agencies, and could affect any future cooperation with the department,” the department told Zdnet.

So what next? The process for approving access to telecommunications data is complex – requests must be dealt with by a committee to determine whether any conditions should be imposed on the agency’s access, reports The Guardian. The privacy commissioner and commonwealth ombudsman can also be consulted.


Here is the full list of agencies who requested ongoing access to telecommunications data:

Access Canberra (Department of Treasury and Economic Development)
ACT Revenue Office
Australian Financial Security Authority
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Australian Postal Corporation
Australian Taxation Office
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre
Bankstown City Council
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Clean Energy Regulator
Consumer and Business Services (South Australia)
Consumer, Building and Occupational Services
Department of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Queensland)
Department of Commerce (Western Australia)
Department of Corrective Services (Western Australia)
Department of Defence
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Fisheries)
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (Queensland)
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Victoria)
Department of Fisheries (Western Australia)
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Department of Health
Department of Human Services
Department of Mines and Petroleum (Western Australia)
Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) (NSW)
Department of Social Services
Department of the Environment
Environment Protection Authority (South Australia)
Fair Work Building and Construction
Greyhound Racing Victoria
Harness Racing New South Wales
Health Care Complaints Commission (NSW)
Legal Services Board (Victoria)
National Measurement Institute
NSW Environment Protection Authority
NSW Fair Trading
Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW)
Office of Fair Trading (Queensland)
Office of State Revenue (NSW)
Office of State Revenue (Queensland)
Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (Victoria)
Primary Industries and Regions South Australia
Queensland Building and Construction Commission
Racing and Wagering Western Australia
Racing NSW
Racing Queensland
Roads and Maritime Service NSW
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Victoria)
State Revenue Office (Victoria)
Taxi Services Commission (Victoria)
Victorian WorkSafe Authority


  1. I don’t really care who knows my information. I don’t have anything to hide.

    • I understand that Debbie but when you start getting letters, emails & phone calls from all of these people, won’t that pee you off?

    • “A secret shared . . . ” All these folk have access to your personal information. The information “leaks”. Suddenly your identity has been stolen and used for illegal purposes. Don’t forget that identity theft is big business.

  2. NO! repeat NO! What justification could most of those companies have for accessing everyone’s information? NO!

  3. So they ask us for permission first? I don’t think that I signed anything that gives them access to my information!

  4. And of course all those LNP followers said that the rest of us were fear mongering when we warned that this would happen once Abbott got this bill passed. Well, you idiots voted this mob in so now you can suffer the consequences.

    • The writing was on the wall, some people are just born THICK they believe any garbage fed to them.

    • Judith Forbes
      When you find out some 18 year old has access to your personal bank records or medical records you may feel a bit differently.

    • Most of us don’t have anything to hide. This is new world order at its best and Australia is leading the way! Much worse to come, unfortunately.

    • We may not have anything to hide, but I’d rather details of my medical procedures weren’t passed around a government office thanks

    • Try as I might, I find it impossible to visualise an occasion where ANY of my details, financial, medical or otherwise, will be deemed interesting or funny enough to be passed around someone’s office for a few laughs! Now, perhaps if I had a high profile….but me….no……

    • You’d be surprised what kids find amusing Rosemary. The point is, doctors are obliged to keep personal medical information confidential, then this happens

    • Sue Todd I really don’t believe that my personal details are ever going to be of any interest to anyone who has no valid reason for needing to access them. I’m simply NOT important enough. I seriously doubt that any “kids” are going to be interesed either.

    • Ok, that’s your business. What about your banking details, do you think no-one will be interested in them?

    • So you do not care if your current employer knows that you are contacting potential alternative employers – or, if you are in business, you are happy that your rivals, customers and financiers can know, in advance of you making any decisions, that you are contacting alternative customers, suppliers and financiers.
      Of course many people these days find it necessary to keep their membership of a union a secret but this metadata invasion of privacy will give the fascist more information to implement their anti-freedom dreams.

    • Sue Todd the ATO has had access to my banking for I don’t know how long. That also follows that Centrelink do also because I receive a part pension. It’s not new news and I don’t agree that it necessarily means people are running round these offices gossiping about MY finances. I have sat through “privacy policy” meetings at my work and still feel that some of us have an inflated opinion of how interesting our information is to others.

    • We were told that this was bought in to easily detect terrorists..are we all terrorists now? We were lied too not much of a surprise really from this Liberal Government is it !!

    • Do you publish all your personal details, including banking online Rosemary? If you have nothing to hide….

    • Rosemary Miles the ATO have most details of anyone who has ever lodged a tax return. What they don’t know is how much you have in the bank. They will now

    • And we should also note that this legislation exempts certain people from having their information disclosed through meta databases. This includes current and former politicans and certain CEO’s of big business or Government departments. . So they want all our info but their info is exempt.

    • Sue Todd they know exactly what your interest earned is each year!! I haven’t had to fill in that field on my tax for ages. It’s automatic – and ALWAYS correct! What makes you think that your interest earned has been unknown to them? If they know your interest payments, they know your balances.

    • Glenda Faber  

      I agree, Why would Vic racing want my details?

  5. For fuck sake i hate government they r all crooks. Nov matter how much we say NO they fucking ignore us. Because they know we won’t do anything about it anyway. Winging on facebook will achieve nothing.

  6. This would not apply only under the LNP but would probably occur no matter who was in power. The only conclusion that you can come to is that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

    • “nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.” Like hell! No-one should have access to any information on me, or anyone else, without very good reason. Personal privacy is important and should only be breached when there are serious security risks or when there is strong suspicion that the law has been broken.

    • It was Abbott who wanted this and he used his majority vote to get it in.
      It’s not a case of having nothing to hide. But do you really want some 18 year old working for Bankstown Council to know when you last saw your doctor or had a prostate exam or someone from Harness Racing Australia to know the full details of your bank account and your income and expenditure????

    • I honestly think that you both are being very alarmist. I honestly doubt if the Bankstown Council parks employee is going access my information. I still believe that there are organisations that monitor lots of things but these are all done under protocols, which apply to all. How much of our liberties have we lost in the war on terror, given airport security and other measures. If you want to go through your lives living in fear of what might happen then so be it. But do not think for one second that the federal opposition is going to repeal these laws any time soon.

    • And your bank details Richard? They would be accessed too, and it won’t be long before someone in one of these organisations is selling the info to scammers

  7. If you have nothing to hide I can’t see there is a problem. Although there are some pieces of information that should be kept private and confidential. Information sharing between agencies can lead to the wrong people having access to information leading to corruption big time.

    • So, are you happy to have your private medical information shared or have any emails or SMS’s you send read by all and sundry or have your bank details known by all people who work in these agencies??????

    • Those pieces of information that should be kept private won’t be. They’re the bits they are after, anything you share they’re not interested in

    • Carole Marshall, I have led a almost blameless life, living with 6 siblings, bearing 2 children who in turn had 5 children between them. I have nothing to hide, least of all my finances, but I can bet you next time I get on MyGov. Au, they will know everything about me. Try it. You will find they know everything about you too.

  8. No, my life is mine. I choose what people know about me. I have always been a decent person, I have nothing illegal to hide, but I draw the line at this invasion of my privacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *