- EDOWA is committed to protecting and upholding the right to privacy of clients, staff, volunteers, Committee members and representatives of other agencies. EDOWA is committed to protecting and upholding the rights of clients to privacy in the way EDOWA collects, stores and uses information about them and the services EDOWA provides to them.
- EDOWA requires staff, volunteers and Committee members to be consistent and careful in the way they manage what is written and said about individuals and how they decide who can see or hear this information.
- EDOWA will follow the guidelines of the Australian Privacy Principles in its information management practices.
- This policy conforms to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles, which govern the collection, use and storage of personal information of clients, staff, volunteers, Committee members and representatives of other agencies (Individuals).
- This policy applies to all records, whether hard copy or electronic, containing personal information of Individuals, and to interviews or discussions of a sensitive personal nature with Individuals.
To ensure that:
- EDOWA meets its legal and ethical obligations as an employer and service provider in relation to protecting the privacy of clients and organisational personnel;
- clients are provided with information about their rights regarding privacy;
- clients and organisational personnel are provided with privacy when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature; and
- all staff, Committee members and volunteers understand what is required in meeting these obligations.
What personal information does EDOWA collect and hold?
EDOWA may collect the following types of personal information from Individuals:
- mailing or street address;
- email address;
- telephone number;
- facsimile number;
- age or birth date;
- profession, occupation or job title;
- immigration, citizenship and visa status;
- health related information;
- information about an individual’s personal history and experiences;
- details of family members;
- any information the Individual provides to EDOWA through meeting with its representatives or completing client surveys; and
- any additional information relating to the Individual that is provided to EDOWA directly through its website or indirectly through use of its website or online presence, through its representatives or otherwise; and
- any personal information about the individual provided to EDOWA with the individual’s consent from other organisations, including law enforcement agencies and other government entities.
How is personal information collected?
EDOWA collects personal information directly from the Individual unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. When collecting personal information from the Individual, EDOWA may collect it in ways including:
- during conversations between the Individual and EDOWA representatives;
via email, post or facsimile;
- through access and use of EDOWA website; or
- through information provided by other organisations or agencies, where the individual has provided either EDOWA or the other organisation or agency (or both) with permission to share personal information.
EDOWA may also collect personal information from third parties including law enforcement agencies and other government entities.
Dealing with personal information
In dealing with personal information, EDOWA personnel must:
- ensure privacy for clients, staff, volunteers or Committee members when they are being interviewed or discussing matters of a personal or sensitive nature;
- only collect and store personal information that is necessary for the functioning of the organisation and its activities;
- use fair and lawful ways to collect personal information;
- collect personal information only by consent from an individual;
- ensure that people know what sort of personal information is held, what purposes it is held it for and how it is collected, used, disclosed and who will have access to it;
- ensure that personal information collected or disclosed is accurate, complete and up-to-date, and provide access to any individual to review information or correct wrong information about themselves;
- take reasonable steps to protect all personal information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure; and
- destroy or permanently de-identify personal information no longer needed and/or after legal requirements for retaining documents have expired.
Responsibilities for managing privacy
- All EDOWA personnel are responsible for managing personal information to which they have access, and in the conduct of research, consultation or advocacy work.
- The Principal Solicitor is responsible for content in EDOWA publications, communications and website and must ensure the following:
- consent is obtained for the inclusion of any personal information about any individual including EDOWA personnel;
- information provided by other agencies or external individuals conforms to privacy principles;
- clients and other relevant individuals are provided with information about their rights regarding privacy; and
- appropriate handling of any queries or complaints about a privacy issue.
What happens if EDOWA can not collect personal information?
If the Individual does not provide EDOWA with the personal information described above, EDOWA may not be able to provide the requested services, either to the same standard or at all.
For what purposes does EDOWA collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?
EDOWA collects personal information about Individuals so that it can perform its functions and to provide best possible quality of service. EDOWA collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information for the following purposes:
- to provide its services and to access related resources;
- to update EDOWA’s records and keep Individuals’ contact details up to date;
- To comply with reporting requirements on Performance Indicators for funding purposes;
- To apply for external funding;
- to process and respond to any complaint made; and
- to comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator.How can the Individual access and correct personal information?
To whom may EDOWA disclose personal information?
EDOWA may disclose an Individual’s personal information to:
- EDOWA’s staff and personnel, related bodies corporate, government entities, international organisations, contractors or service providers for the purposes of provision of EDOWA’s services and fulfilling requests by Individuals;
- Funding bodies when making a funding application or acquittals; with the Individual’s consent.
- Any organisation for any authorised purpose, with the Individual’s consent.
Individuals may request access to any personal information EDOWA holds about them at any time by contacting EDOWA. Where EDOWA holds information that the Individual is entitled to access, EDOWA will try to provide the Individual with suitable means of accessing it (for example, by mail or email). EDOWA may charge the Individual a fee to cover administrative and other reasonable costs in providing the information. EDOWA will not charge for simply making the request and will not charge for making any corrections to personal information.
There may be instances where EDOWA cannot grant access to the personal information. For example, EDOWA may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others or if it would result in a breach of confidentiality. If that happens, EDOWA will give reasons for any refusal.
If the Individual believes that personal information EDOWA holds is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then the Individual may request EDOWA to amend it. EDOWA will consider if the information requires amendment. If EDOWA does not agree that there are grounds for amendment then EDOWA will add a note to the personal information stating that the Individual disagrees with it.
What is the process for complaining about a breach of privacy?
If an Individual believes that his or her privacy has been breached, they may contact the EDOWA Privacy Officer using the contact information below, providing details of the incident so that EDOWA can investigate it. Complaints about breaches of privacy should be made in writing, so EDOWA can be sure about the details of the complaint. EDOWA may attempt to confirm the Individual’s understanding of the conduct relevant to the complaint. EDOWA will inform the Individual whether it will conduct an investigation, the name, title and contact details of the investigating officer and the estimated completion date for the investigation process. After completing the investigation, EDOWAwill contact the Individual to advise the outcome.
Is personal information disclosed to anyone outside Australia?
It is highly unlikely that personal information will be disclosed to anyone outside of Australia. However, if this does occur for some of the purposes listed above, EDOWA will take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipients of personal information do not breach the privacy obligations relating to personal information but cannot guarantee that these overseas organisations comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. EDOWA may disclose personal information to entities located outside of Australia, including the following:
- data hosting and other IT service providers;