Our obligation to you
WCS is committed to ensuring that the personal information you provide to us remains secure, is only used for the purposes for which it is collected and that you are aware of what information is held and your rights.
Personal information is any information which can identify you.
Collection of your personal information
We may collect, hold, use and disclose personal information where it is necessary for the purpose of providing you with social and community support, education and care and health services. This personal information will generally include your name, address, telephone number and email address.
We may also collect, use, hold and disclose some additional specific information, including health information, your race or ethnic origin or religious beliefs or affiliation, known as sensitive information. We will not collect sensitive information about you without your express consent unless required by law.
We may collect personal information about you:
- directly from you
- from some other person, organisation or agency on your behalf with your consent; or
- from an organisation or agency who refers you to us or to whom we refer you from time to time.
Personal information collected by us may be used or disclosed:
- to assess what services you require and whether we can provide them
- to advocate on your behalf with government agencies and organisations to obtain other support services and benefits for you
- to evaluate ongoing services provided to you
- to make funding applications and provide statistical reports to comply with service agreements.
If you do not provide the personal information requested, we may not be able to provide you with the support and services needed to assist you. You may also not receive assistance and services from other agencies and organisations to which you may otherwise be entitled.
We may also use your personal information to send you newsletters and information about our activities and services, with your consent. You can opt out of this at any time.
We do not disclose personal information about you to other parties for direct marketing purposes.
Where possible, we will allow you to interact with us anonymously. For example, if you contact us with a general inquiry, we will not ask for your name unless we need it to help you. However, for most of our services and activities we usually need your name and enough other personal information to enable us to handle your inquiry or request.
Accessing and correcting personal information we hold about you
We will, on request, provide you with access to the personal information we hold about you. If you ask, we will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information if we consider it is incorrect, unless there is a law that allows or requires us not to.
You can ask for access or correction by contacting us and we will respond within 30 days.
If we refuse to give you access to, or correct your personal information, we will provide you with the reasons for the refusal in writing. You can also ask us to attach a statement to your records indicating that you believe the information is incorrect and why.
Keeping your personal information up to date
We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is accurate, complete and up to date whenever we collect or use it. We do this by:
- recording information in a consistent format
- reminding you to update your personal records
- promptly adding updated or new personal information to existing records
- regularly auditing our contact lists to ensure their accuracy.
We also review the quality and relevance of personal information we hold before we use it or disclose it.
Storage and security of your personal information
Your personal information may be stored either in hard copy or electronic form in our files and/or IT systems.
We take reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We do this by ensuring that:
- Information that is stored electronically can only be accessed by relevant WCS staff
- WCS computers are password protected
- Our internal network and databases are protected using firewalls and other technologies
- Our paper files are secured in locked cabinets
- All WCS employees and volunteers are made aware of their obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 during the induction stage of their employment. Ongoing training is provided to ensure that we adhere to our established security practices.
We destroy personal information in a secure manner when we no longer need it. For example, we generally keep personal information for a period of seven years from the date of last entry in our records. However, if the service user was a child, in some circumstances the record is kept until the individual attains or would have attained 25 years of age, as required under some laws. These records are archived and held in a secure off-site location.
Internet site privacy
We may collect contact information (such as email addresses) from you via our internet site.
Unless you object, by using our internet site you consent to us using the personal information collected to monitor who is accessing the internet site or using services offered on the internet site.
We utilise "cookies" which enable us to monitor internet traffic. A cookie does not identify you personally but it does identify your computer. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie and this will provide you with an opportunity to either accept or reject it in each instance.
We may preserve the content of any email you send us if we believe we have a legal requirement to do so or are otherwise permitted to do so under the Privacy Act 1988.
How to contact us
If you wish to complain to us about a breach of your privacy, access your own personal information held by us, correct any information held by us concerning your own personal information or find out more about how we deal with personal information, please contact:
Last reviewed in February 2020