The Privacy Act defines personal information as ‘information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable; whether the information or opinion is true or not; and whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not’ (s 6(1)).
Under the Privacy Act, more stringent obligations apply to the handling of sensitive information, which is classed as a subset of personal information and is defined as:
- information or an opinion (that is also personal information) about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual preferences or practices or criminal record
- health information about an individual
- genetic information (that is not otherwise health information) (s 6(1)).
Collection of your personal information
The nature and extent of the kinds of personal information and, where applicable, sensitive information, collected by Your Voice varies depending on your particular interaction with us.
Where practicable, you may choose to interact with Your Voice anonymously, or use a pseudonym. In some circumstances however, this may mean that we have limited capacity to provide you with information, a service or effective communication in response to your request or complaint.
Personal information – collection and use
Types of personal information (that is not sensitive information) that Your Voice collects can include contact details (such as name, address, telephone number, email).
Your Voice will only record information that is necessary for the particular function or activity for which it was collected.
With strict adherence to the Privacy Act and relevant state legislation, personal information is only disclosed for the purposes for which you gave it to us, or for directly related purposes that you would reasonably expect or if you agree. As specified in the Privacy Act, exceptions refer to situations where a disclosure is required or authorised by law or if a disclosure can lessen or prevent a serious threat to life, health or safety.
How to make a complaint
If you wish to complain to us about how we have handled your personal information you should complain in writing. If you need help lodging a complaint, you can contact us.
If we receive a complaint from you about how we have handled your personal information we will determine what (if any) action we should take to resolve the complaint.
If we decide that a complaint should be investigated further, the complaint will usually be handled by a more senior officer than the officer whose actions you are complaining about.
We will contact you to acknowledge that we have received your complaint within three business days. We will then contact you with a response, or a progress report on the actions being undertaken, within 30 days. (This may not be possible with anonymous complaints).
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can take your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) at www.oaic.gov.au. The OAIC has the power to investigate Australian organisations and agencies that are bound by the Privacy Act, with respect to possible breaches of the Australian Privacy Principles.