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The Privacy Act 1988
The Privacy Act 1988 creates strict privacy safeguards that Commonwealth Government Departments Agencies and private sector organisations must observe when handling on individual's "personal information"

Personal information can be defined as any information, or an opinion, (whether true or not, and whether recorded electronically or hardcopy) that can identify an individual. What can constitute personal information is very broad.

The Privacy Act has 2 sets of "privacy principles" governing how personal information is collected, stored, used and disclosed.

They are the:
  • Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) - applying to Commonwealth Government Departments and Agencies since 1988; and
  • National Privacy Principles (NPPs) - applying to private sector organizations since December 2001.
The Privacy Act also gives individuals certain rights of access to any personal information held about them and to have it corrected, if necessary.

As a Government Business Enterprise, Australia Post is in a unique position of having to comply with both the IPPs and NPPs. The IPPs apply to our "non commercial activities"' such as our PostBillpay service, sales of stationery and office supplies, sale of traveler's cheques etc.

Australia Post has additional privacy and confidentiality obligations under the Australian Postal Corporation Act. As a Licensee or Franchisee, you will also have other confidentiality obligations stemming from you LPO or Franchise Agreement.

Rather than develop privacy policies and procedures for complying with the Privacy Act that are driven by specific products or service function, Australia Post has developed its own Privacy Policy reflecting our joint obligations under the IPP's and NPP's. Where any conflict exists between the 2 sets of privacy principles, Australia Post has adopted the more stringent privacy obligation.

The Australia Post Privacy Policy sets out how we handle personal information. These obligations also apply to Licensees and Franchises. The privacy obligations to customers relate to the following "information handling practices" and associated processes:
Describes what, when and how personal information can be collected. It also requires individuals to be informed of certain matters when their personal information is collected.
Requires that personal information may only be collected if it is necessary for carrying out one of Australia Posts' functions and activities. The information must be collected in a fair and lawful way and the individual must be told of how personal information may be used and to whom this may be disclosed.
Sets the standards that must be met for the accuracy, currency, completeness and security of an individual's personal information. Reasonable steps must be taken to protect the personal information held against misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Reasonable steps must also be taken to permanently de-identify, or destroy, personal information if it is no longer required.
Requires clearly expressed policies on Australia Post's management of personal information to be set out in a publicly available document and to make it available to anyone who asks for it. There is also an obligation to let an individual know, should they ask, what sort of personal information is held, for what purpose, and how it is collected
Unless a specified exception applies, an individual may request to see any information held about him/her, should ask. If personal information held is incomplete, out of date, or inaccurate, reasonable steps must be taken to correct that information.
Say that generally, Commonwealth government identifiers cannot be used to identify Australia Post's customers.
Requires that, where lawful and practicable customers must be allowed to interact with Australia Post without being required to identify themselves.
Outlines privacy protections that apply to the transfer of personal information out of Australia.
Is a subset of personal information and it includes such things as health information, criminal records, political opinions, religious beliefs, membership of a professional or trade organisation or union. Australia Post recognises this type of information receives"special protection" under the Privacy Act and will consider this in all relevant policies and procedures.

The Privacy Act also requires the following types of personal information to be treated as "special". Australia Post will recognise this obligation in all relevant policies and procedures:
  • Tax File Numbers
  • Credit Information;
  • Old Conviction Information (spent convictions)

As an Australia Post Licensee or Franchisee you will be occupying a special place in the Australian community. Australia Post customers expect that when they provide their personal information it will be treated with the utmost of care and confidentiality. Compliance with the Privacy Act is fundamental to the way Australia Post serves its customers and is a cornerstone of our excellent reputation. This philosophy applies to how our Licensees and Franchisees represent Australia Post as well.

Further information on how Australia Post handles personal information is contained in the "Australia Post, Privacy and You" brochure, available from all Australia Post outlets and Customer Service Centres.
This information was directly sourced from the"Information Booklet for Prospective Licensees by the Australia Post 04/03" We shall endeavor to keep it up to date with the latest issues. This is designed as a guide only and Tarshay Pty Ltd will not be responsible for any issues relating to this information.