Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission has warned the state's public service not to "peek" at personal and confidential information on citizens contained within government databases.
It follows a spate of charges against Queensland Police officers for accessing private data not related to their duties.
Two weeks ago sergeant Steven Patrick Wright was fined for accessing information on netballer Laura Geitz as well as his family and friends.
The CCC said public servants had an "obligation" not to misuse the information they have access to.
"What may seem like a simple peek at someone else's private information is actually a serious invasion of privacy," CCC chairman Alan MacSporran said in a statement.
"It can potentially amount to a criminal offence and be the subject of an investigation by the CCC."
The CCC said it recorded 554 allegations of corruption relating to information misuse in the last year, compared to 638 the year prior. It attributed the drop to a "focus on pursuing corruption in the public sector relating to the improper release of confidential information" that will continue through 2018.
Information misuse can be through accessing or disclosing information without a legitimate reason, unintentionally disclosing data, falsifying information, illegally acquiring or keeping data, or by not properly safeguarding information, the CCC said.