The APPs set out minimum standards for the way in which organisations deal with individuals' personal information. Under the Act, personal information is defined as
personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:
(a) whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
(b) whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is committed to the protection of individuals' personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Collection of Personal Information
The CRC only collects personal information which is necessary in connection with its business purposes. The purposes for which the CRC collects personal information include:
- responding to issues addressed by an individual to the CRC;
- facilitating the conduct of business transactions and operations between the CRC and the individual;
- providing a subscription service to individuals; and
- ensuring that our website at www.bnhcrc.com.au remains relevant to individuals.
The specific types of personal information collected and used by the CRC varies according to the purpose for collection. However, in general this information includes:
- Individuals' names, addresses, contact details (e.g. telephone number, facsimile number and email address, employer and role);
- Information about transactions or dealings between individuals and the CRC; and
- Individuals' areas of interest.
The CRC collects most of the personal information it requires directly from the relevant individual by way of written forms voluntarily completed by the individual. The CRC may also collect information from individuals by telephone, in person, by its employees, or by written correspondence from time-to-time. In certain circumstances, the CRC may also collect personal information about an individual from third parties.
It is important that the CRC collects the information it requires about an individual in order to provide services which remain relevant to that individual.
Where an individual, or entity, provides the CRC with personal information about another individual, they must first ensure that the other individual is aware of:
- The disclosure of their information to the CRC and the purposes for which the information is collected and used by the CRC; and
- the individual's ability to request access to the personal information held about them by the CRC, and to advise the CRC if they think the information is inaccurate, incomplete or out-of-date.
The CRC does not actively collect sensitive information. However, if sensitive information is collected, the CRC will first obtain the consent of the relevant individual, or otherwise ensure that the collection is in accordance with the APPs.
Collection of Personal Information During Research Projects
The CRC is in the business of conducting research which will include the interviewing and surveying of members of the public and organisations. The collection of data will be covered by a higher level of privacy protection including obtaining Human Ethics approval through an Ethics Committee. This Personal Information will be treated in accordance with the requirements outlined in the ethics approval, for that activity. Any publication of material arising from this data will be suitably de-identified.
Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
The CRC may use and disclose an individual's personal information for the primary purpose for which the information was collected, reasonably expected secondary purposes, where the individual has consented, and otherwise in accordance with the APPs, including:
- To provide goods or services to the individual, including a newsletter or similar subscription service;
- To provide information to members of the CRC;
- Where required or authorised by law;
- To provide information to agents, contractors and service providers engaged by the CRC to deliver goods and services or otherwise act on behalf of the CRC, or to provide goods and services to the CRC, these providers will be bound by similar privacy conditions;
- To investigate and resolve complaints concerning the provision of services by the CRC or others associated with the CRC; and
- To provide individuals with updates and other information from time to time about the CRC's goods, services and activities. Individuals may notify the CRC at any time if they do not wish to receive this information.
The CRC’s website and email systems are cloud-based services and therefore may be based outside Australia, however the CRC will only transfer personal information outside of Australia in accordance with the APPs including:
- With the individual's consent (this is deemed to have been give through the entering of information of the CRCs website or through the use of the CRC’s email addresses);
- Where the CRC is under a contractual obligation (with the individual or another party) to do so, or there is some other benefit to the individual; or
Data Quality Storage and Security
The CRC strives to ensure that all personal information held in its records is secure, accurate, complete and up-to-date.
Personal information is held in a combination of electronic and hard copy records stored securely at the CRC's facilities. Hard copy information is stored in secure office facilities, including locked filing cabinets at the CRC's premises. Electronic information is protected by password security and other data protection measures.
Access to personal information is restricted in accordance with the CRC's procedures to those personnel whose job functions require access to such information. Access to customer personal information is restricted to the CRC management personnel. Certain administrative functions may from time to time be contracted out to third parties, and in these cases appropriate security measures are implemented to ensure the security and integrity of all personal information.
Access to Information
Please contact us if you would like to access a copy of your Personal Information or believe that the information we have about you is not up-to-date, complete or accurate. You have the right to request the correction of any information which relates to you and is inaccurate. If you would like the CRC to delete your Personal Information, please let us know and we will take all reasonable steps to delete it unless we are required by law to keep it.
The CRC’s website allow anonymous browsing, and does not require a user to identify themselves, unless they wish to register for a service.
Point of Contact
The Communications Manager
Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Limited
1/340 Albert Street
EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002
Phone: 03 9412 9600
More details of the Privacy Act can be obtained from the office of the Australian Information Commissioner www.oaic.gov.au