Who do we Collect Personal Information From?
At Homes Out West we collect personal information from applicants, tenants, and members of tenants’ households, job applicants, staff, volunteers and others including contractors, visitors and others that come into contact with our organisation.
It is noted that employee records are not covered by the Australian Privacy Principles or the Health Privacy Principles where they relate to current or former employment relations between our organisation and the employee.
What Kinds of Personal Information Do We Collect?
The kinds of personal information we collect is largely dependent upon whose information we are collecting and why we are collecting it, however in general terms we may collect:
How do we collect your personal information?
How we collect personal information will largely be dependent upon whose information we are collecting. If it is reasonable and practical to do so, we collect personal information directly from you.
Where possible we have attempted to standardise the collection of personal information by using specifically designed forms (e.g. Application Form or a Health Information Disclosure Form). However, given the nature of our operations, we often also receive personal information by email, letters, notes, over the telephone, in face to face meetings, through financial transactions and through surveillance activities such as the use of CCTV security cameras or email monitoring.
We may also collect personal information from other people (e.g. referring agencies, service providers including health service providers and partner agencies) or independent sources (e.g. a telephone directory), however we will only do so where it is not reasonable and practical to collect the information from you directly.
Sometimes we may be provided with your personal information without having sought it through our normal means of collection. We refer to this as “unsolicited information”. Where we collect unsolicited information we will only hold, use and/or disclose that information if we could otherwise do so had we collected it by normal means. Complaints about individuals are considered to be unsolicited information. If that unsolicited information could not have been collected by normal means then we will destroy, permanently delete or de-identify the information as appropriate.
How we use personal information
We only use personal information that is reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions or activities (the primary purpose) or for a related secondary purpose that would be reasonably expected by you, or to which you have consented.
Our primary uses of personal information include but are not limited to:
We only collect sensitive information reasonably necessary for one or more of these functions or activities, if we have the consent of the individuals to whom the sensitive information relates, or if the collection is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to life, health or safety, or another permitted general situation (such as locating a missing person) or permitted health situation (such as the collection of health information to provide a health service) exists.
If we do not have the relevant consent and a permitted health situation or permitted general situation does not exist, then we may still collect sensitive information provided it relates solely to individuals who have regular contact with our organisation in connection with our activities. These individuals may include applicants, tenants, members of a tenant’s household, carers, family members, volunteers, service providers including contractors, sub-contractors, and other individuals with whom we have regular contact in relation to our activities.
We will only use or disclose sensitive information for a secondary purpose if you would reasonably expect us to use or disclose the information and the secondary purpose is directly related to the primary purpose.
Storage and Security of Personal Information
We store personal information in a variety of formats including on databases, in hard copy files and on personal devices including laptop computers, mobile phones, cameras and other recording devices.
The security of your personal information is of importance to us and we take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold about you from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
These steps include:
Personal information we hold that is no longer needed is destroyed in a secure manner, deleted or de-identified as appropriate.
Our website may contain links to other websites. We do not share your personal information with those websites and we are not responsible for their privacy practices. Please check their privacy policies.
When we disclose personal information
We only use personal information for the purposes for which it was given to us, or for purposes which are related (or directly related in the case of sensitive information) to one or more of our functions or activities. We may disclose your personal information to government agencies, our service providers, agents, contractors, partner support agencies, business partners and other recipients from time to time, only if one or more of the following apply:
Disclosure of personal information to overseas recipients
We may disclose personal information about an individual to overseas recipients in certain circumstances, such as storing information with a “cloud service provider” which stores data outside Australia. We will however take all reasonable steps not to disclose an individual’s personal information to overseas recipients unless:
How we ensure the quality of your personal information
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the personal information we hold, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. These steps include ensuring that the personal information is accurate, complete and up to date at the time of collection and when using or disclosing the personal information. On an ongoing basis we maintain and update personal information when we are advised by individuals or when we become aware through other means that their personal information has changed.
Please contact us if any of the details you have provided change. You should also contact us if you believe that the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up to date.
How to gain access to your personal information we hold
You may request access to the personal information we hold about you, or request that we change the personal information, by contacting us.
If we do not agree to provide you with access, or to amend your personal information as requested, you will be notified accordingly. Where appropriate we will provide you with the reason/s for our decision. If the rejection relates to a request to change your personal information you may make a statement about the requested change and we will attach this to your record.
If you wish to make a complaint about a breach by us of your privacy (that includes the Australian Privacy Principles or the Health Privacy Principles) you may do so by providing your written complaint by email, letter, fax or by personal delivery to any one of our contact details as noted below. You may also make a complaint by phoning or face to face.
We will respond to your complaint within a reasonable time (usually no longer than 30 days) and we may seek further information from you in order to provide a full and complete response.
Your complaint may also be taken to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or the NSW Privacy Commissioner.
How to Contact Us
You can contact us about this Policy or about your personal information by:
If practical, you can contact us anonymously (i.e. without identifying yourself) or by using a pseudonym. However, if you choose not to identify yourself, we may not be able to give you the information or provide the assistance you might otherwise receive if it is not practical to do so.
Changes to our privacy and information handling practices
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