Please note that in this statement, Hepatitis NSW is referred to as ‘HNSW’, ‘us’, ‘we’ or ‘the organisation’.
Hepatitis NSW understands that privacy is important to our clients and members, and we are committed to protecting the information you provide us with. We recognise that people who give us their information have a right to know that it is protected, and also have a right to access that information under most circumstances. Those rights are consistent with our core values, and the philosophies we try to uphold in our work.
What sort of information might Hepatitis NSW collect about me, and why?
The information we may collect about you depends on why you contact the organisation. In general, we collect as little identifying information as possible in order to meet your needs.
If you become a member of the organisation, we will generally only collect personal information (see the definition below). That means that we will only have your contact details. We collect those so that we can provide you with information about hepatitis and our organisation. When becoming a member, you may also be asked questions about your ethnicity, profession and other characteristics (that is, we may hold sensitive information about you). If you are asked for that information it is to provide you with information which is relevant to you. If we collect sensitive information about you, it will be kept securely (see below)
If you are a client of the organisation (see the definition below), then we may collect more than your contact details, and may hold sensitive information about you (information which identifies you, and contains detail about things like your health, for example). We will only collect that information so that we can better meet your needs. For example, when you are having counselling, it is important for your counsellor to have more information about you so that they can talk through what is happening for you, and they may take notes on that information. If we collect sensitive information about you, it will be kept securely (see below)
If you are a client of HNSW, you can stay anonymous or use a pseudonym (a name that is not your real name). Of course, there may be times where this is impractical (for example, if we need to send you mail), and we may ask for your details
When you access most of our services, you will be asked to answer some demographic questions, asking about things like your age, ethnicity, and post code. You do not have to answer those questions if you don’t want to. You will not be penalised if you don’t want to answer demographic questions, and your answers (or your decision not to answer) will not have a negative impact on your ability to use our servicesWe ask about client demographics because they help us to analyse our performance, and tell us whether we are reaching our target populations or not. The demographic information you give us is generally not linked to your details. If that information is held with your personal information, it will be kept securely (see below)
Google analytics and cookies
Our website makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes:
The user’s server address
The user’s top level domain name
The date and time of access to the site
Pages accessed and documents downloaded
The previous site visited
The type of browser software in use
No attempt will be made to identify anonymous users (including users logging on using a pseudonym) or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the Internet Service Provider’s log files. Our website hosting provider uses a web analytics service to help analyse how users use the site. They anonymously track how our visitors interact with our website, including where they came from, what they did on the site, and whether they completed any transactions on the site such as membership application.
Any information collected as part of your personal profile will be used only for the purposes of our website’s personalisation functions, and will not be used for any other purpose or passed to any other organisation.
This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site.
How does Hepatitis NSW hold the information it has about me, and why?
Your information is only seen by people at Hepatitis NSW who need to see it as part of their work.
There are two reasons why we might hold personal or sensitive information about you:
We need your personal information to stay in contact with you, and you have given those details to us. For example, you might have become a member of HNSW, or given your details to one of our staff on the phone so that we can call you back.
We need your sensitive information to meet your needs, and you have given us that information. For example, you might have asked us to provide advocacy on your behalf, or you might be getting counselling at HNSW
When you give us personal or sensitive information, it is kept securely. Electronic files are kept on a secure database, and are only available to staff who need to see them as part of their work. Paper files are kept in a locked filing cabinet, and are only available to staff who need to see them as part of their work. Personal records are kept for six years before they are securely destroyed
How could my information be used?
We generally only use your personal and sensitive information for the purpose you gave it to us. For example, if you have asked us to post information to you only once, your postal details will be destroyed after that occasion, and we will not use them for any other purpose.
If we use your information for a secondary purpose (that is, not the one you originally gave it to us for), it will only be under specific circumstances. We will generally only use your information for a secondary purpose if you have told us that we can, or if we are obliged to by law, or a court or tribunal order. There are some exceptions, which are all specified in more detail in the Privacy Act referred to above:
If we have been asked for that information by an enforcement body (for example, a government department), and we believe that disclosing that information is reasonably necessary for the work of that enforcement body
Disclosing that information is necessary to prevent or lessen significant harm to the health and safety of an individual or the public
If the information is necessary for a legal claim
If the information is reasonably necessary for a confidential dispute resolution process
If the information is necessary for research or monitoring which is relevant to public health and safety, and that purpose can’t be served by de-identified information. In that case, we would only share your information without your consent if it was impractical to get your consent, and we would only do so if we felt confident that the recipient of the information would not share that information. This is likely to be a very rare occurance
Hepatitis NSW understands that many of our clients are concerned about their information being shared, particularly because the information we hold may be about things like blood-borne viruses, drug use and other criminal behaviours. We respect our clients’ right to privacy, and will avoid using your information for secondary purposes where possible.
How can I access the personal information HNSW holds about me?
Apart from staff who need to access your information as part of their work, the only person who can access or change your information is you. You can find out what information we hold about you by contacting HNSW, either by telephone or in writing. We will need to verify your identity before giving you your information. When you have requested a copy of your information, it will be posted within 5 working days of the request being received. You can change the information we hold about you via telephone or in writing.
HNSW may withhold health and other sensitive information from you if you are a client and we believe that that information could seriously threaten your psychological and/or physical health.
How can I make a complaint about a breach of the Australia Privacy Principles?
If you feel that the way we collect or hold information breaches the Australian Privacy Principles, you can make a complaint. We have a grievances and complaints policy, which is available on our website. That policy details how to make a complaint and what action you can expect from HNSW if you do make a complaint.
Is HNSW likely to share my personal information with people overseas?
We are unlikely to share your information with overseas recipients. If that were a possibility, we would only share your information under the conditions set out above (under ‘How could my information be used?’), and with prior written consent from you. We would also only send information securely, with reassurances from the recipient about their ability to keep your information secure.
What if HNSW receives information about me without asking for it?
If we receive unsolicited information about you, we will determine whether we could have rightfully collected that information if we had asked you for it, and whether the information is already contained in a Commonwealth record. If we could not have rightfully collected the information (under the Privacy Principles) and the information is not contained in a Commonwealth record, we will destroy the information as soon as is practical.
Personal information identifies someone. Names, telephone numbers and addresses are examples of personal information
Sensitive information usually identifies someone, and gives more detail about them than personal information. Information about someone’s health, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion are examples of sensitive information
A client is a person who approaches Hepatitis NSW seeking information, support, membership, advocacy or other services.
This page last updated 29 Sept 2017