‘Personal information’ is any information or opinion, in any form, which identifies an individual or from which an individual’s identity is apparent or can be reasonably ascertained.
The National Privacy Principles
From 12 March 2014, most private sector organisations in Australia, must by law, comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which were introduced by way of the Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) which amended the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to replace the National Privacy Principles (NPPs). We are bound by the APPs. Click here to read our client update regarding these changes.
Collecting personal information about you
The kinds of personal information we hold:
We only collect personal information that is necessary for us to perform our functions, to develop and promote our services and to assist us with complying with our legal and regulatory obligations.
The kinds of personal information we collect and hold will depend upon the services you request from us. However, it may include:
- • Information you give us when you instruct us to act for you or request another service from us (such as when you respond to an invitation to attend a seminar). This information will include your name, address and contact details
- • Information about individuals we collect in the course of acting for clients
- • Communications between us and you
We also collect some information from you when you use our website. Your use of the facilities and services available through our website will determine the amount and type of information which we collect about you. Some of this information will not be personal information because it will not reveal your identity.
The only personal information which we collect about you when you use our website is what you tell us about yourself, for example, by completing an online form when you accept an invitation to attend a seminar, or information you provide to us when you send us an email. We will record your email address if you send us an email.
When you visit our website, our server attaches a small data file called a “cookie” to your computer’s memory.
Collection of anonymous information:
As most websites do, we track usage patterns on our website on an anonymous aggregate basis. Your identity cannot reasonably be ascertained from this information. Each time you visit our website a web server makes a record of your visit. Specifically, it records your:
- • Internet Provider
- • Date and time of your visit
- • Pages accessed and the documents downloaded
- • Search items entered
- • Referring URLs (universal locators)
The way we collect personal information from you:
While in most instances we will collect information directly from the person to whom the information relates, we may require you to provide us with information about third parties. Accordingly, we may also collect information about you from a third party.
When we obtain personal and other information from third parties whom we are referred to by you, we will assume and you will ensure that you have made that third party aware that you have referred us to them and of the purposes involved in the collection, use and disclosure of the relevant personal or other information.
Using and disclosing your personal information
The purposes for which we collect and hold personal information and how we use it:
Any personal information which we collect about you will be used and disclosed by us so that we can provide you with the services that you have requested, or otherwise to enable us to carry out our functions as professional legal service providers and seeking to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
We may determine that it is necessary for us to conduct further searches and enquiries regarding the information you have provided us or more generally concerning you or your associates for our regulatory or prudential purposes. This may entail using some or all of the collected information to collect additional information concerning you or your associates (including personal information in the respect of individuals) from various other entities including, but not limited to, government agencies, law enforcement bodies, publicly available records, public registries, court or tribunal records, ratings agencies, search and credit reporting agencies, and regulatory and licensing bodies.
We may also use your personal information to provide you with information about other services offered by us (such as seminars). If you would prefer not to receive this information, please let us know and we will respect your request.
Contracting out services and disclosures:
We may disclose your personal information to our service entities and contract out some of our functions (such as mailing) to external service providers. We may disclose your personal information to these external service providers but only so that they can provide the services that we have contracted out to them.
Emails you receive from us regarding publications, events and education
How we collect personal information from you:
If you provide us or have provided us with your email address, we may send emails to you containing Vatandoust publications, such as newsletters or seminar invitations. If you do not wish for us to send you such emails, please contact us, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We may use an “email management system” to automate the management and dispatch of these emails. The system operates by inserting tracking codes in the emails that we send to you.
The kind of personal information we collect about you:
The tracking code allows us to collect personal information about you, such as whether you received and opened an email, and whether you clicked through to any links to our website. This information that we collect about you will be stored by our email management system.
The purpose for which we collect the information about you:
The personal information that the email management system collects about you is used by us to:
- • ensure that you only receive correspondence that you have informed us that you wish to receive
- • determine whether the information that we send to your is suitable for you interests, information needs and profile
- • ensure that the email address that you have provided us is still operational
- • determine whether emails that we send to you are received by you
- • update a request that you make to us to unsubscribe from a publication that we send to you
- • review the effectiveness and relevance of our emails to you by collecting other statistical information
Overseas transfers of personal information
We will only transfer your personal information overseas if:
- • we reasonably believe that the recipient of the information is subject to a law or a contract which effectively upholds privacy principles similar to the APPs;
- • you have consented to the transfer;
- • the transfer is necessary for us to provide you with your requested services;
- • it is not practical to obtain your consent, the transfer is for your benefit and your consent would likely be given; or
‘Sensitive information’ is a specific type of personal information that includes health information and information about a persons’ race, ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of political, professional or trade associations, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual preferences and criminal history.
The APPs impose greater obligations on us regarding any collection, use or disclosure we make of your sensitive information. We will only collect your sensitive information if:
- • you have expressly consented to us doing so;
- • we are required to do so by law; or
- • the collection is necessary to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim.
Access to your personal information
In most cases, you can gain access to personal information that we hold about you. We will handle requests for access to your personal information in accordance with the APPs.
We will deal with all requests for access to personal information as quickly as possible. Requests for a large amount of information, or information which is not currently in use, may require further time before a response can be given. In some cases, consistently with the APPs, we may refuse to give you access to personal information we hold about you. This includes circumstances where giving you access:
- • Would be unlawful (for example, where a record which contains personal information about you is subject to a claim for legal professional privilege by one of our clients)
- • Would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy
- • Would prejudice negotiations we are having with you
- • Would prejudice an investigation of unlawful activity
- • Would prejudice activities carried out by, or for, a law enforcement agency
If we refuse to give you access we will provide you with reasons for our refusal.
Generally, if you request us to do so we will amend any personal information about you held by us which is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date. If we disagree with your view about the accuracy, completeness or currency of a record of your personal information held by us, and you ask us to associate with that record a statement that you have a contrary view, we will take reasonable steps to do so.
If you would like more information about the way we manage personal information that we hold about you, or are concerned that we may have breached your privacy and wish to make a complaint, please contact us email.