Your privacy is important to the Society. In this policy we explain how and why we may collect your personal information, how it is used, when and how we might share it with others and how you can access and seek to correct your personal information. In this policy, personal information has the meaning given to it in the Privacy Act, and includes information about identified or reasonably identifiable individuals.
The Privacy Act is accessible on the Federal Government Comlaw website: www.comlaw.gov.au. Detailed information on privacy and the APPs is available on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner: www.oaic.gov.au.
Personal Information We Collect and Hold
Why do we collect personal information?
The St Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor and working to shape a more just and compassionate society. The Society collects personal information about those we are helping through conferences and special works to provide them with assistance. We also collect information to satisfy statistical reporting requirements where the Society is being funded under a government contract, and to provide the public with examples of the impact of our work (on an anonymous/pseudonymous basis). The Society also collects information about donors and about those who participate in events (for instance, the annual CEO Sleepout) to keep donors and event participants informed of our activities and provide the opportunity to donate or participate again. In addition, the Society collects and holds information about its employees and about members of the Society and volunteers.
Do we permit individuals to deal with us anonymously?
While generally we need to know who you are to help you, when possible you have the option of dealing with the Society anonymously. For instance, you may express your opinion about St Vincent de Paul by emailing us at email@example.com.
How do we collect and hold personal information?
Generally the Society collects personal information directly from individuals who contact us in person, by telephone, by email or via the Society websites. Sometimes we collect personal information from a third party or a publicly available source, but only if the individual has consented to such collection or would reasonably expect us to collect their personal information in this way, or if it is necessary for a specific purpose such as to arrange a particular event. Sometimes the Society may receive personal information about third parties from individuals who contact us and supply us with the personal information of others in the documents they provide to us. We take steps to protect the personal information we hold against misuse, interference and loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. These steps include password protection for accessing our electronic IT systems (including cloud-based systems), use of secure online payment technology when people wish to make donations, properly securing paper files and physical access restrictions to areas where material is stored. When no longer required, personal information is destroyed in a secure manner. We seek to ensure that the personal information we collect and hold is accurate, up to date and complete. This includes maintaining and updating personal information when we are advised by individuals that their personal information has changed, and at other times as necessary.
What kinds of personal information do we collect and hold?
The kinds of personal information the Society collects and holds include:
- Information about those we are helping through conferences and special works – this could include names and addresses, income information, ethnicity, languages, case history, nature/timing/ quantum of help provided, and some medical history (as applicable).
- Donor records including contact information, frequency and amount of donations
- Event participant records (e.g. CEO Sleepout)
- Employee records
- Member and volunteer records
- Information collected through a variety of website features and online forms, such as subscriptions to the St Vincent de Paul Society monthly updates, and
- Information collected about individuals with whom the Society enters into a business relationship.
We may collect sensitive personal information as defined in the Privacy Act when it is reasonably necessary for the performance by the Society of its functions or activities, with the consent of the individual concerned. The Privacy Act (APP 3.4) also provides for the collection of sensitive information in certain other circumstances, including where the information relates to the activities of the Society and relates solely to the members of the Society, or to individuals who have regular contact with the Society in connection with its
Use and Disclosure of Personal Information by the Society
Generally we only use personal information for the purposes for which it was given to us, or for purposes which are directly related to one of our functions or activities, and we do not give it to other organisations or anyone else for a purpose other than that for which it was given to us.
Sometimes we may use or disclose the personal information we hold in other circumstances permitted under the Privacy Act and the APPs, including where:
- The individual has consented
- The individual would reasonably expect the information to be used or disclosed for a purpose other than that for which it was collected and that other purpose is related to the purpose for which the information was collected
- It is otherwise required or authorised by an Australian law or a court/tribunal order
- It is impractical to obtain consent and it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to somebody’s life or health or to public health or safety, or
- It is reasonably necessary for an enforcement related activity conducted by or on behalf of an enforcement body.
Do we send personal information overseas?
We do not send personal information outside Australia.
Information Collected Online by the Society
It is our usual practice to collect information about all visitors to our online resources. That information is very limited and only used to identify generic behavioural patterns. Our primary websites are www.vinnies.org.au and www.ceosleepout.org.au. Before deciding if you wish to contribute personal information to our websites you should read their privacy policies which are available on the respective websites.
Accessing and Correcting Personal Information the Society Holds
You may request access to your personal information. To request access to your personal information you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 9475 5400 and you will be referred to an appropriate person.
The Society may require you to verify your identity and to be specific about the information you seek. We will provide you with access, subject to any applicable exceptions under the Privacy Act (see APP 12.3). You will not be charged for lodging a request to access your personal information, but we may need to charge reasonable access costs (for instance, photocopying charges).
If you request access to the personal information we hold about you, or request that we change that personal information, we will respond to your request as soon as we reasonably can. We will allow access or make the changes unless we consider that there is a sound reason under the Privacy Act or any other relevant law to withhold the information, or not make the changes. If we do not agree to provide access to personal information or to amend or annotate the information we hold about you, we will provide you with written reasons and information about how you may complain.
Complaints About the Society’s Privacy Practices
If you have a concern about the way in which the Society handles your personal information and wish to make a complaint, contact email@example.com or (08) 9475 5400. The Society will consider your complaint and provide you with a response.
Under the Privacy Act, the Privacy Commissioner has the power to investigate complaints or acts or practices that may be a breach of privacy even if there is no complaint. If you have made a complaint to us about the Society’s privacy practices and you do not believe that the matter has been resolved satisfactorily, you should either write to the Privacy Commissioner setting out the details of the practices which you think interfere with your privacy (if you wish, you can use a form available on the Commissioner’s website), or telephone 1300 363 992 (local call charge). The Privacy Commissioner will generally expect you to complain to the Society first, and will likely refer your complaint to the Society if you have not done so.
How to Contact Us