Increasing numbers of Australians are lodging privacy complaints and requests for freedom of information reviews.
Australians are taking action in ever-increasing numbers to protect their privacy as well as personal data held by governments and organisations.
Almost 2500 privacy complaints were lodged with the Australian Information Commissioner in the last financial year, an annual increase of 17 per cent.
Official figures for the past seven months, released to a Senate committee on Tuesday, are tracking even higher.
The commissioner's office handled almost 16,800 privacy "inquiries" by writing or phone in the past year, and again, those numbers are even higher this financial cycle.
Timothy Pilgrim holds the dual-role as privacy and information commissioner.
"The significant increase in the workload of my office over a number of years is evidence of the fact that privacy and data protection continue to be a core and growing consumer and community concern," he told senators.
"This is essential to keep in mind, particularly in the current environment, where data and its use is vital for innovation, research and policy development."
Despite the increased workload, the commissioner is closing privacy complaints more swiftly.
The office also steps in when Australians are unhappy with freedom of information decisions made by an agency or minister.
The commissioner reviewed 632 freedom of information requests in the past financial year, a 24 per cent annual increase.
The number of freedom of information requests has risen further this financial cycle, as has the rate of cases closed, but the overall number of inquiries has fallen slightly.
Mr Pilgrim, who will step down next month after 34 years in the public service, said he had witnessed a steady increase in community members exercising their rights to privacy.
"Even with the significant productivity improvements we have made, we are challenged by the fact the workload continues to increase at a higher rate," Mr Pilgrim said.