Privacy

2 June 2014
Justice Connect Privacy Policy

1.  Background

1.1  General

Justice Connect (ABN 54 206 789 276) is committed to protecting privacy, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) and other applicable privacy legislation.  

This Privacy Policy explains how Justice Connect collects, uses, discloses and otherwise handles personal information.

A copy of this Privacy Policy is available on the Justice Connect website at www.justiceconnect.org.au/privacy.  A printed copy can be obtained by contacting our Privacy Officer (details under heading 10 below).

1.2   What is personal information?

Personal information means information or an opinion, whether true or not and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual who is identified or reasonably identifiable. 

1.3  Applicable legislation

Justice Connect is required to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act.  The APPs regulate the manner in which personal information is handled throughout its life cycle, from collection to use and disclosure, storage, accessibility and disposal.

We are also required to comply with the Health Privacy Principles in the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) (State Health Privacy Law) when we collect and handle health information in those States.

In certain circumstances (for example, where funding agreements with government agencies require it), Justice Connect may also be required to comply with the Information Privacy Principles in the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) and the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW).

1.4   Employee records

Justice Connect is generally exempt from the Privacy Act when it collects and handles employee records and this Privacy Policy does not apply to that information. However, the Privacy Act still applies to personal information about job applicants, contractors and volunteers, and State Health Privacy Law still requires us to protect the privacy of employee health information.  This Privacy Policy will apply in those circumstances. 

2.  What personal information does Justice Connect collect?

2.1  General

The kind of personal information that we collect about you will depend on the type of dealings you have with us.  For example, if you:

  • seek legal assistance, we may collect your name, contact details, details of your guardian (if applicable), financial details (if necessary to confirm your eligibility for our services) and information about the matter you are seeking assistance with
  • provide legal assistance to our clients, we may collect your name, organisation and contact details
  • become a supporter of Justice Connect, we may collect your name, organisation, contact details and confirm whether you are a student
  • register for a subscription to a Justice Connect publication, we may collect your name, organisation and contact details and details about the information you access in our publications
  • make a donation to Justice Connect, we may collect your name, organisation, contact details, the amount and frequency of your donation and payment details
  • attend a professional development or training program or attend another Justice Connect event, we may collect your name, organisation, contact details, payment details (if applicable) and any dietary and accessibility requirements
  • participate in our surveys, we may collect your name, organisation contact details and your survey responses
  • download a Justice Connect precedent from our website, we may collect your name, organisation and contact details and details of the precedent you downloaded
  • use a web application on the Information Hub, we may collect your name, email address, and data inputted where we have indicated that data will be collected
  • send us an enquiry, we may collect your name, contact details and details of your query
  • make a complaint, we may collect your name, contact details, the details of your complaint, information collected in any investigation of the matter and details of the resolution of the complaint
  • apply for a role at Justice Connect, we may collect the information you include in your application, including your cover letter, resume, contact details and referee reports

2.2  Sensitive information

Sensitive information is a subset of personal information that is generally afforded a higher level of privacy protection.  Sensitive information includes health and genetic information and information about racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association or trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record and some types of biometric information. 

Justice Connect only collects sensitive information where it is reasonably necessary for our functions or activities and either:

  • the individual has consented; or
  • we are required or authorised by or under law (including applicable privacy legislation) to do so.

For example, we may collect information about your ethnicity and any disability you may have where relevant to considering special circumstances.

2.3  What if you don't provide us with your personal information?

The nature of the business carried on by Justice Connect means that, generally, it is not possible for us to provide services to our clients or otherwise deal with witnesses or other individuals in an anonymous way.

However, in some circumstances we allow individuals the option of not identifying themselves, or of using a pseudonym, when dealing with us (for example, when viewing our website or making general phone queries).  Donations may also be made anonymously, but in this case Justice Connect may not be able to issue a tax-deductible receipt.

3.  How does Justice Connect collect personal information?

3.1  Methods of collection

Justice Connect will collect personal information by lawful and fair means as required by the Privacy Act. We will also collect personal information directly from you where this is reasonable and practicable. 

We collect personal information in a number of ways, including:

  • through our websites (for example, if you choose to donate to Justice Connect online through our secure payment gateway)
  • when you correspond with us (for example by  letter, fax, email or telephone)
  • on hard copy forms
  • in person (for example, at job interviews and where we meet with a client to take instructions)
  • from referring third parties such as Legal Aid
  • at events and forums
  • from third parties such as Centrelink

3.2   Collection notices

Where Justice Connect collects personal information about you (for example in the course of taking instructions from you if you are a client), we will take reasonable steps to notify you of certain matters.  We will do this at or before the time of collection, or as soon as practicable afterwards. 

4.   Why does Justice Connect collect personal information?

4.1  General

Justice Connect facilitates access to justice by providing pro bono legal services to people experiencing disadvantage and the community organisations that support them.  We also address injustice through law reform, policy work and legal education, using evidence from our case work and the stories of our clients to promote our work and bring about change. 

The main purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information are set out below.

Providing pro bono legal services

  • assessing whether clients meet our acceptance criteria
  • determining whether clients have any special needs, such as an interpreter or disability assistance
  • endeavouring to arrange for the provision of legal and non-legal assistance to eligible clients
  • referring clients to lawyers where the lawyer has agreed to provide assistance

Advocacy

  • carrying out law reform and policy work
  • promoting Justice Connect and its activities, including through events and forums
  • conducting research and statistical analysis relevant to Justice Connect's activities
  • preparing case studies of legal matters for use in advocacy work and in publications (individually identifying case studies will only be used with consent)

Education and information

  • providing legal information or resources
  • running professional development programs for lawyers
  • running community training programs about the law

Fundraising

  • seeking funding and donations
  • organising fundraising events
  • reporting to funding providers

General administration

  • recruiting staff, contractors and volunteers
  • processing payments
  • answering queries and resolving complaints
  • evaluating our work and reporting externally

Other purposes

We may also collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for other purposes explained at the time of collection or which are:

  • required or authorised by or under law (including, without limitation, privacy legislation); or
  • for which the individual has provided their consent.

4.2 Direct marketing

We may use your personal information to keep you informed and up to date about our work in improving access to justice and fostering a stronger pro bono culture, either where we have your express or implied consent, or where we are otherwise permitted by law to do so.  We may send this information in a variety of ways, including by mail, email, SMS, telephone, or facsimile.

Where you have consented to receiving marketing communications from us, that consent will remain current until you advise us otherwise.  However, you can opt out at any time, as explained below.

Opting out

You can opt out of receiving marketing communications from us by:

  • advising us if you receive a marketing call that you no longer wish to receive these calls;
  • using the unsubscribe facility that we include in our commercial electronic messages (such as emails and SMSes) to opt out of receiving those messages; or
  • contacting us by email at publications@justiceconnect.org.au, by phone on (03) 8636 4400, by facsimile (03) 8638 4455 or by sending a letter to Publications, Justice Connect, PO Box 16013, Collins Street West, Melbourne, 8007.

5.  What third parties does Justice Connect disclose personal information to?

We may disclose personal information to third parties where appropriate for the purposes set out under heading 4, including:

  • the legal providers that give legal assistance to our clients
  • other community legal service providers (for file audit purposes)
  • our funding providers (although personal information will only be provided with consent)
  • financial institutions for payment processing
  • referees whose details are provided to us by job applicants
  • Justice Connect's contracted service providers, including :
    • information technology service providers
    • conference, function and training organisers
    • marketing, communications and research agencies
    • freight and courier services
    • printers and distributors of direct marketing material
    •  external business advisers (such as recruitment advisors, auditors and lawyers)

In the case of these contracted service providers, we may disclose personal information to the service provider and the service provider may in turn provide us with personal information collected from you in the course of providing the relevant products or services. 

6. Cross border disclosure of personal information

We do not currently disclose personal information to third parties located overseas.  If this changes at some time in the future, we will comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act that apply to cross border disclosures of personal information and this Privacy Policy will be amended accordingly.

7.  Data quality and security

7.1  General

We hold personal information in a number of ways, including in hard copy documents, electronic databases, email contact lists, and in paper files held in drawers and cabinets.  Paper files may also be archived in boxes and stored offsite in secure facilities.  We take reasonable steps to:

  • make sure that the personal information that we collect, use and disclose is accurate, up to date and complete and (in the case of use and disclosure) relevant;
  • protect the personal information that we hold from misuse, interference and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure; and
  • destroy or permanently de-identify personal information that is no longer needed for any purpose that is permitted by the APPs.

If you are a client, we will return any of your original documents that we have to you when your matter has been finalised.  Copies of your documents will remain on your file with us and will generally be kept for 7 years after the date that your file has been closed.

7.2  Security

The steps we take to secure the personal information we hold include website protection measures (such as encryption, firewalls and anti-virus software), security restrictions on access to Justice Connect's computer systems (such as login and password protection), controlled access to Justice Connect's premises, policies on document storage and security, personnel security (including restricting the use of personal information by Justice Connect employees) and training and workplace policies.

Online credit card payment security

Justice Connect processes donations and other online credit card payments using a secure payment gateway.  Your complete credit card number cannot be viewed by Justice Connect and all transactions are secured using 128-bit SSL encryption.

Website security

While Justice Connect strives to protect the personal information and privacy of users of our website, we cannot guarantee the security of any information that you disclose online and you disclose that information at your own risk. If you are concerned about sending your information over the internet, you can contact Justice Connect by telephone or post (details under heading 10 below).

You can also help to protect the privacy of your personal information by letting us know as soon as possible if you become aware of any security breach.

Third party websites

Links to third party websites that are not operated or controlled by Justice Connect are provided for your convenience.  Justice Connect is not responsible for the privacy or security practices of those websites, which are not covered by this Privacy Policy. Third party websites should have their own privacy and security policies, which we encourage you to read before supplying any personal information to them.

8. Access and Correction

8.1  General

Please contact our Privacy Officer (details under heading 10 below) if you would like to access or correct the personal information that we hold about you.   We may ask you to verify your identity before processing any access or correction requests, to ensure that the personal information we hold is properly protected.

8.2  Access

We will generally provide you with access to your personal information, subject to some exceptions permitted by law.  We will also generally provide access in the manner that you have requested (eg by providing photocopies or allowing a file to be viewed), provided it is reasonable and practicable for us to do so.  We may however charge a fee to cover our reasonable costs of locating the information and providing it to you. 

8.3  Correction

If you ask us to correct personal information that we hold about you, or if we are satisfied that the personal information we hold is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, we will take reasonable steps to correct that information to ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which it is held, the information is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. 

If we correct personal information about you, and we have previously disclosed that information to another agency or organisation that is subject to the Privacy Act, you may ask us to notify that other entity.  If so, we will take reasonable steps to do so, unless this would be impracticable or unlawful.

8.4  Timeframe for access and correction requests

Except in the case of more complicated requests, we will endeavour to respond to access and correction requests within 30 days.

8.5  What if we do not agree to your request for access or correction?

If we do not agree to your access or correction request, or if we do not agree to give you access in the manner you requested, we will provide you with a written notice setting out:

  • the reasons for our decision (except to the extent that, having regard to the grounds for refusal, it would be unreasonable to do so); and
  • available complaint mechanisms.

In addition, if we refuse to correct personal information in the manner you have requested, you may ask us to associate with the information a statement that the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, and we will take reasonable steps to do this to associate the statement in such a way that will make it apparent to users of the information.

9. Complaints

If you have a complaint about how Justice Connect has collected or handled your personal information, please contact our Privacy Officer (details under heading 10 below).

We will ask you to complete a Privacy Complaint Form, which asks you to explain the circumstances of the matter that you are complaining about, how you believe your privacy has been interfered with and how you believe your complaint should be resolved.  We can assist you with completing the Form if required.

Complaints process

We will endeavour to complete our investigation into your complaint in a timely manner.  This may include, for example, gathering the relevant facts, locating and reviewing relevant documents and speaking to relevant individuals. 

We will try to resolve your complaint in a fair and reasonable way. In most cases, we expect that complaints will be investigated and a response provided within 30 days of receipt of the Privacy Complaint Form.  If the matter is more complex and our investigation may take longer, we will write and let you know, and tell you when we expect to provide our response.

If you are unhappy with our response, you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (see here for further information) or, in some instances, other regulatory bodies, such as the Victorian Privacy Commissioner (see here), the New South Wales Privacy Commissioner (see here) or the Victorian Health Services Commissioner (see here).

10. Our contact details

Please contact Justice Connect if you have any queries about the personal information that Justice Connect holds about you or the way we handle that personal information. Our contact details for privacy queries are set out below.

Privacy Officer
Justice Connect

Mail:  PO Box 16013, Collins Street West, Melbourne, 8007

Email:  privacy@justiceconnect.org.au

Telephone: +61 3 8636 4400

Facsimile: +61 3 8638 4455

11.  Changes to this Policy

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time.  The current version will be posted on our website and a copy may be obtained from our Privacy Officer.

 

Updated 10 April 2014