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Privacy Awareness

What is Privacy? Privacy

is about the fair and proper handling of personal and health

information that is provided to the University.

Personal information

is the collection of information or an opinion about a person whose identity is obvious or can be figured out from the material.

Obvious examples

Less obvious examples

...and then there are life choices well as health information

• Addresses • Contact details • Personal financial details • Security details such as employee number • A student’s assessment results • Photographs or videos in which you can identify an individual • Paper or electronic files and diary notes • Correspondence such as emails and letters • Physical identification like finger prints, retina prints, blood samples or genetic characteristics • Ethnic or racial origin • • • •

Political opinions Religious or philosophical beliefs Trade union membership Sexual activities

• • •

An opinion about a person’s physical or mental health or disability Details of health services that are to be provided to a person Reasonable adjustments put in place by Disability Services for a Student

Why does the University respect people’s privacy? The University has a commitment to ensure a person’s right to privacy is protected. It does this by complying with Privacy Laws. These laws aim to provide an individual with control over the information given to organisations, protection against misuse of information and assurance that information is kept securely. As employees we all have a responsibility to comply with these laws. We can do this by following UOW processes and applying the principles covered in this ebrochure to our work.

When do you need to think about privacy? In your role there is potential for you to deal with students’ or staff members’ personal information. This ebrochure outlines the guiding principles you should consider when:

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• collecting personal information • storing information you have collected • managing access and accuracy • using the personal information or disclosing it to others.

Collection of personal information There are five guiding principles for the collection of personal information. They are: • • • • •

Be open about your approach. Only collect information for a lawful use. Get the information from the source. Only collect information relevant to your use. Obtain consent at the time of collection.

You may come across situations where you think you need to collect a students’ or a staff members personal information. Before you do so, take the time to check if it has already been collected and if its use is covered under the Student Privacy & Disclosure Statement or the Privacy Collection Statement. If not, talk to your Supervisor, others may need to collect the same information as you. Your Supervisor might be able to create a general solution to the problem.

Storage of personal information When we collect personal information it is our responsibility to keep it secure and to dispose of it appropriately. Consider the way you are storing others’ personal information and ask yourself these three questions.

Is the information safe?

Could this information be lost? Consider things such as flood fire or IT issues (for example loss of data or file corruption). What actions should you take to keep the information safe?

Is the information protected?

Information should only be accessed by people who are authorised. Think about how you are storing information at your desk.

Should I keep this information?

Do not keep information longer than necessary. Go to the Records Management Policy for guidance on how long to keep information.

Managing access and accuracy of personal information Be transparent

Ensure accuracy

Explain what personal information you are storing and why it is being used.

Be sure the person’s information is relevant and accurate before using it.

Accuracy and Access of Information

Allow access

Enable corrections

We must allow a person access to information we have collected about them.

We must make it possible for a person to correct or amend their personal information.

Using and disclosing personal information It is important that we use the information provided to us for a relevant, lawful purpose and only release information under certain circumstances. There are instances when you are allowed to use or disclose personal information you have collected. These are when:

• You have been given the individual’s consent • You told them how you will use and disclose their information • The use is directly related to the original purpose you collected the information for • Where there is a threat to life, health or safety of any person • It is required by law

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Key Points to Remember In your role you may think you need to collect personal information. However it is important to take the time to check if it has already been collected or if it is covered under the Student Privacy & Disclosure Statement or Privacy Collection Statement. If you are in doubt or want further information, contact the Information Compliance Officer on ext 4368. They will provide advice and have the ability to determine if we are meeting our legal obligations.

Remember: • Keep personal information safe and secure. • Make sure others cannot access information and don’t leave material with personal information laying around. • Only use or disclose personal information if the person whose information it is has either given you consent, or was told how UOW will use or disclose their information. • Use the guidelines you have been given in this module to help you decide how to manage personal information.

Image Copyrights •

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Useful resources Privacy Homepage Privacy Collection Statement Student Privacy & Disclosure Statement

Contacts Information Compliance Officer: Carmel Perre, 4221 4368.

Privacy Awareness eBook  
Privacy Awareness eBook