The NSW Government's privacy practices in collecting, storing, using and disclosing personal and health information are regulated by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW). These laws have privacy principles that tell us:
- what information we can collect and how we collect it
- how we store and protect personal and health information
- how you can find out what information we hold and correct it if it is wrong
- how we can use and disclose your information including special protection for health and other sensitive information
- how you can complain about breaches of your privacy.
This privacy notice applies to the Department of Family and Community Services (the Department) which consists of the following entities: Housing NSW, the Land and Housing Corporation, the Aboriginal Housing Office, Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Community Services, Strategy and Policy, Corporate Services and also the Home Care Service. The Department and its related agencies comply with NSW privacy legislation when collecting and managing personal and health information. The information we collect from you or from an authorised third party will be held by the entity that collects it, or by NSW Businesslink, the Government owned company that provides corporate support to the Department. It will be used to deliver services and to meet our legal responsibilities. We may also use your information within the Department as a whole to plan, coordinate and improve the way we provide services. The Department is also legally authorised to disclose information to outside bodies in certain circumstances.
Overview (Privacy Statement)
Information given by a client to FACS will not be disclosed to members of the public unless there is a lawful reason for its disclosure.
Information about a client may be passed between employees of FACS where it is required in the normal course of their duties and in accordance with legislation.
FACS will only provide an individual's personal information to external organisations where there is a lawful reason to do so or, where an exemption has been granted and is documented in Housing NSW's 'Privacy Code of Practice' or, there is a current signed authority of disclosure.
FACS will disclose income details of household members to the tenant so that the tenant knows if their household's income is affecting their ongoing eligibility for public housing.
FACS will disclose income details of household members to the tenant because household income affects the amount of rental subsidy a tenant is entitled to receive.
What information do we collect?
When you look at the pages on Housing NSW’s website, our computers automatically record information that identifies, for each page accessed:
- the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the machine which has accessed it;
- your top-level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au, .uk etc.);
- the address of your server;
- the date and time of your visit to the site;
- the pages accessed and documents downloaded;
- the previous site visited; and
- the type of browser and operating system you have used.
How do we use the information collected?
The information collected during each visit is aggregated with similar logged information and published in reports in order for FACS to identify patterns of usage of the site. This will assist us in improving our site and the services offered on it.
What exceptions are there to this rule?
FACS will collect, use and disclose more extensive information than stated above in the following circumstances:
- unauthorised attempts to access files which are not published Housing NSW pages;
- unauthorised tampering or interference with files published on the Housing NSW site;
- unauthorised attempts to index the contents of the Housing NSW site by other sites;
- attempts to intercept messages of other users of the Housing NSW site;
- communications which are defamatory, abusive, vilify individuals or groups or which give rise to a suspicion that an offence is being committed; and
- attempts to otherwise compromise the security of the web server, breach the laws of the State of New South Wales or Commonwealth of Australia, or interfere with the enjoyment of the Housing NSW site by other users.
FACS reserves the right to make disclosures to relevant authorities where the use of Housing NSW’s site raises a suspicion that an offence is being, or has been, committed.
In the event of an investigation, FACS will provide access to data to any law enforcement agency that may exercise a warrant to inspect our logs.
Is the information stored securely?
Yes. Information collected is stored in an appropriately secure format and held by FACS for archival purposes.
Who else has access to information within Housing NSW?
FACS captures this information on its own computers. Access to the raw data is restricted to a limited number of officers in FACS for the purpose of analysis and to report on the success of Housing NSW in meeting its communication and access objectives.
Staff may disclose an individual's personal information in joint meetings with other agencies where a Service Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or similar document is in place and the 'Privacy Act' or 'Code' permits the disclosure, or when seeking the professional opinion of another staff member. However, they will withhold personal information that is not relevant to the matter being discussed.
Will this policy be updated over time?
Due to the developing nature of privacy principles for online communication, this policy may be modified or expanded in light of new developments or issues that may arise from time to time.
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