Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

Privacy policy

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission's (Commission) privacy policy has two components:

Website privacy statement

This Website Privacy Statement applies to the Commission's website with the domain name www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au ('website'). It explains how the Commission handles your personal information when you use this website. Personal information is any information that is capable of identifying you as an individual.

The practices outlined in this Statement are subject to any rights the Commission may have to handle personal information in accordance with law.

This Statement only relates to the Commission's website. When following links to other sites from this website, you should access the privacy statement of that site for information about its privacy practices.

Collection of personal information

You can access the Commission website anonymously, without disclosing your personal information.

The personal information we may collect via this website includes:

  • information submitted by you to enrol in a training course or join a mailing list
  • any messages or comments you submit to us via this website or to an email address displayed on this website, which may include personal information such as your name, email address, telephone number and opinions.

Use and disclosure of personal information

In addition to providing our services to you and carrying out your requests, we may use or disclose personal information that we collect about you via our website for the following:

  • any purpose disclosed on our website for the collection of the information
  • purposes connected with the operation, administration, development or enhancement of this website
  • where we suspect that fraud or unlawful activity has been, is being or may be engaged in
  • any other purposes required or authorised by law.

We may share personal information within the Commission. We may preserve the content of email or other electronic messages that we receive. Any personal information contained in that message will be used and disclosed in accordance with the Commission's privacy policy.

If you have made an online application, your application will be forwarded to the appropriate Commission business unit to whom your application relates or who can assist in processing your application.

We will only add email addresses and any other contact details you provide to a mailing list with your consent.

We will not disclose your personal information to any third party without your consent, unless we are required or authorised to do so by law. A law enforcement agency or government agency may exercise its legal authority to inspect the web server's records when investigating suspected unlawful or improper activity (for example, in relation to hacking or abusive messages). 

Clickstream data

The following clickstream data are automatically recorded by the website's web server for statistical and system administration purposes only:

  • your server address
  • your top level domain name (for example, .com, .au, .gov)
  • the date and the time of your visit to the site
  • the pages you accessed and downloaded
  • the address of the last site you visited
  • your operating system
  • the type of browser you are using.

To the extent that any clickstream data could make you identifiable, we will not attempt to identify you from clickstream data unless required by law or to investigate suspected improper activity in relation to the website or to assist in law enforcement. 

Cookies

We do not use cookies on our site. A cookie is a block of data that is shared between a web server and a user's browser. Cookies give the server information about a user's identity and website visiting patterns and preferences.

Access and correction

If you want to access your personal or health information or believe that your personal or health information is inaccurate and would like it corrected, you can contact the Commission's FOI Officer at foi@veohrc.vic.gov.au.

The Commission will consider requests in accordance with the following laws:

  • Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014
  • Health Records Act 2001
  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

Any request to access or correct personal or health information will be dealt with in accordance with the procedures set out in the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Visit the Freedom of Information page for further information. 

How the Commission collects and manages personal and health information

The Commission's commitment to privacy

The Commission is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal and health information. Section 176 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 prevents the Commission from disclosing any information about individuals it collects in the course of its work, unless that disclosure is necessary for the performance of the Commission's functions, powers and duties under the Act; unless we are ordered by a court to disclose for the purposes of criminal proceedings; or if we have the consent of the individual concerned.

The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 regulates the collection and handling of personal information in the Victorian public sector. It requires the Commission to only use and provide to other people or organisations, personal information for the purposes the Commission collected it. Occasionally, the Commission may be authorised by law to use or provide personal information for another reason.

The Commission also has obligations to deal with health information in accordance with the Health Records Act 2001.

Personal information is recorded information about a living identifiable or easily identifiable individual (including work-related information and images).

Sensitive information is personal information about a living person's race or ethnicity, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record, or membership details, such as trade union or professional, political or trade associations.

Health information is information that is able to be linked to a living or deceased person about a person's physical, mental or psychological health.

 This document explains:

  • what the Commission does
  • what sort of information the Commission collects and why
  • what the Commission does with the information
  • how to access or correct the information
  • how to complain about the Commission's handling of personal information.

What does the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission do?

The Commission is an independent statutory body with functions under three laws:

The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 makes it against the law to discriminate against people on the basis of a number of different personal characteristics.

The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 makes it against the law to vilify people because of their race or religion.

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter) requires government and public bodies to consider human rights when developing laws and making decisions.The Commission fulfils its role under these Acts by:

  • providing a free and impartial dispute resolution service for individuals and groups who wish to seek redress for discrimination, sexual harassment or racial/religious vilification
  • conducting research into areas of discrimination and human rights
  • conducting investigations into serious matters that affect a class or group of people
  • undertaking information and education programs in the community about discrimination and human rights
  • reporting annually on the Charter 
  • promoting equality of opportunity and
  • intervening in certain court proceedings where the Charter or the Equal Opportunity Act may be relevant.

What sort of personal and health information does the Commission collect and why?

The type of personal or health information the Commission collects depends on the nature of a person's contact with the Commission.

Many people contact the Commission for information, advice, training or complaint services. The Commission collects personal and health information from people in order to provide an appropriate service to them.

Personal information is required to assist the Commission to resolve disputes under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001. This may include a person's contact details, and details about their job, employer, co-workers, medical/health condition, interests and recreational activities, family, and other information about a person's personal circumstances relevant to their complaint.

Some people contacting the Commission may wish to remain anonymous. No identifying details will be collected by the Commission in these circumstances. In some cases, however, the Commission will be unable to provide assistance to a person without collecting some personal information. For example, some personal information will need to be collected before a dispute can be lodged with the Commission.

The Commission uses closed circuit television (CCTV) to monitor and record activity in the public areas of the Commission. This does not include party or interview rooms, bathrooms or training rooms. The purpose of the monitoring and recording is to help provide a safe and secure environment for visitors to the Commission and Commission staff, and to protect the Commission's property.

When collecting personal or health information, the Commission will take reasonable steps to advise you of what information is being sought, for what purpose, whether any law requires the collection of the information and the main consequences, if any, of not providing the information.

What does the Commission do with personal and health information?

The Commission uses personal and health information for the purposes that it was provided. 

The Commission also uses information gathered from disputes, investigations and enquiries for related secondary uses. For example, to help identify equal opportunity issues that need further research and education, compile statistics, report publicly on our activities, and to find better ways to eliminate discrimination.

The Commission will not disclose information in a way that identifies an individual or organisation, unless the individual or organisation consents.

However, there are some limited circumstances in which the Commission may release information. For example, under sections 176A and 177 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, it is lawful for the Commission to disclose information where a court orders disclosure of that information. It is also lawful for the Commission to disclose information relating to disputes, complaints and investigations for the purposes of carrying out the educative functions of the Commission.

It is important to note that any disclosure of information for educative purposes (for example, including information in report to Parliament or a training package) must be consistent with the Commission’s obligations under other relevant legislation including the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

You can obtain more information about the disputes, complaints and investigations process from our website or by phoning the Commission's enquiry line on 1300 292 153.

The Commission may keep contact details, such as a postal or email address, in certain circumstances, where a person has:

  • forwarded a registration form to attend a Commission training course, workshop seminar or other public event
  • submitted an order form for any of the Commission's publications/promotional material
  • experienced the Commission's dispute resolution service and the Commission is seeking feedback to evaluate that service.

Copies of recorded images from CCTV may be provided to police for the purposes of investigating an alleged offence. The Commission may also supply copies to third parties where required by law (for example, a court order) or to investigate a complaint made about the Commission.

The Commission has a separate Website Privacy Statement that outlines how the Commission may collect, use and disclose information obtained from its website: The Commission's website privacy statement.

How does the Commission store and protect personal and health information?

The Commission uses a number of procedural, physical, software and hardware safeguards, together with access controls and back-up systems to protect information from misuse and loss, unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.

Generally, information is destroyed or permanently de-identified when it is no longer required. However, most information is required to be stored and archived in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973.

How can people access or correct their personal and health information held by the Commission?

 If you want to access your personal or health information or believe that your personal or health information is inaccurate and would like it corrected, you can contact the Commission's FOI Officer at foi@veohrc.vic.gov.au.

The Commission will consider requests in accordance with the following laws:

  • Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014
  • Health Records Act 2001
  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

Any request to access or correct personal or health information will be dealt with in accordance with the procedures set out in the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Visit the Freedom of Information page for further information.

How does the Commission handle complaints about privacy?

The Commission will attempt to resolve any privacy complaint in a fair and timely way.

Complaints can be made by phoning the Commission and asking to speak with a Privacy Coordinator, or by writing to the following address: Privacy Coordinator, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria, 3053.

Any individual dissatisfied with the Commission’s handling of their privacy complaint has the right to complain to Privacy Victoria if their complaint concerns personal information or to the Health Services Commissioner if their complaint concerns health information.

Expert bodies you can contact about your personal and health information

The following organisations have specific responsibilities for protecting health and information privacy in Victoria.

Office of the Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner (personal information) 
Telephone (03) 8684 1660
Fax (03) 8684 1667
www.dataprotection.vic.gov.au

Office of the Health Services Commissioner (health information)
Telephone 1300 582 113
Fax No: (03) 9032 3111
health.vic.gov.au/hsc/

Policy last updated May 2016