Privacy Collection Notice – Disability Gateway

Last updated: 13 May 2021

The Department of Social Services (the Department) is responsible for the Disability Gateway on behalf of the Australian Government. 

This Privacy Collection Notice explains how the Department will handle personal information via the Australian Government’s:

  • Disability Gateway Service – phone 1800 643 737, email and web-chat (the Service)
  • Disability Gateway website – www.disabilitygateway.gov.au (the Website).

The Department is committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act) including the 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act.

The Service is delivered by The Benevolent Society, on behalf of the Australian Government through the Department. In this Privacy Collection Notice, references to 'us', 'we' and 'our' include the Department of Social Services, The Benevolent Society and any other contractors and service providers engaged in delivering the Service.

Who does this Privacy Collection Notice apply to?

This Privacy Collection Notice applies to all individuals whose personal information we may collect in the course of providing the Service. This includes:

  • people with disability who contact us to seek information about, or assistance in connecting to, disability services;
  • family and friends of people with disability; 
  • carers of people with disability; and 
  • organisations and providers who operate in the disability sector. 

What information do we collect?

We collect the following personal information about you, if you choose to provide it to us:

  • your name, contact details, location (postcode) and information from your communications with us.

You may use the Service anonymously or by using a pseudonym (that is, a fake name). However, it may not always be possible to provide you with all aspects of the Service anonymously or through using a pseudonym. 

Why do we collect personal information?

We collect your personal information to provide the Service to you. If you do not share your personal information with us, our ability to assist you may be limited.

Where you provide us with personal information or where you have authorised another person to provide us with your personal information, this information will be collected, used, stored and disclosed in a manner consistent with the Privacy Act.

How do we collect your personal information?

Personal information may be collected when you contact, or someone on your behalf contacts, the Disability Gateway via the contact centre phone 1800 643 737 service, Disability Gateway web-chat or web-form/email contact to request information about disability services. When you contact the Disability Gateway through any of these means, you are communicating with The Benevolent Society, who operate the Disability Gateway on behalf of the Department.

The Benevolent Society staff will ask for your consent to collect and store personal information about you before recording any information regarding your contact with the Disability Gateway.

By providing your personal information to us (including any sensitive information about you, such as information about your disability), you are consenting to the Department collecting, using, disclosing and handling that information as described in this Privacy Collection Notice. You can find more information about who we disclose your personal information to below.

What do we use personal information for?

We collect and use your personal information (which may include sensitive information) to enable us to provide the Service and to meet our legal obligations. For example, we may use your personal information (where you choose to provide it) to respond to your queries and feedback, or to help refer you to a service to assist you further. 

In general, we also use and disclose your personal information to:

  • identify usage trends;
  • provide tailored and personalised Service;
  • help us to manage our Service standards; and
  • comply with our legal obligations.

We may use de-identified information (where no one is identifiable) to improve the Disability Gateway service, for reports and in evaluation of the Service and its various elements. De-identified information can also be used in academic articles and presentations at conferences.

We record calls made to the Service for quality assurance and training purposes.  You can choose not to have your call recorded.

If you contact us online via the web-chat option, we keep a transcript or record of the web-chat interaction to help us improve our service.  If you do not want a transcript to be kept, you can tell the counsellor who interacts with you online.

We keep personal information only for as long as it is required in order to provide you with the Service and to comply with our legal obligations. When it is no longer needed for these purposes, we take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify it.

Any personal information held by The Benevolent Society or its contractors and service providers in connection with the Service is held on behalf of the Department of Social Services, so that we can provide the Service. If The Benevolent Society stops providing the Service on behalf of the Department and/or at the Department’s direction, personal information will be transferred to the Department or to such contractors as the Department appoints to perform the Service.

Who do we disclose personal information to?

We may need to disclose your personal information to others. We will protect your information by taking all reasonable steps to ensure that any disclosure is done in accordance with the Privacy Act and with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner guidance.

Your personal information may be shared between The Benevolent Society, the Department and with contractors and service providers engaged to provide the Service (collectively, Contracted Service Providers). Where Contracted Service Providers are engaged, they are bound by obligations of security and confidentiality and contractual measures are in place to ensure they comply with those obligations.

We may also disclose personal information to third parties where required to do so by law. 

De-identified information (where no one is identifiable) may also be shared with research partners.

Overseas disclosure

We do not generally disclose personal information overseas. The Benevolent Society will seek your consent at the time, if it intends to disclose your personal information overseas. 

There may be circumstances in which the Department may transfer or disclose your personal information overseas. If applicable, this will be in accordance with Privacy Act. More information is available on the Department’s privacy policy.

How do you access or correct personal information about you?

We try to make sure that the personal information we collect, use and disclose is accurate, complete, up-to-date and relevant. You can request to access or correct personal information we hold about you. We will generally provide you with access to your personal information if practicable and will take reasonable steps to amend any personal information about you which is inaccurate or out of date.  You can contact us by emailing disabilitygateway@benevolent.org.au 

Other websites

This website contains links to other sites. The Australian Government is not responsible for the privacy practices of any third parties nor are they responsible for the material contained in websites that are linked to this website. When you go to other websites from here, we advise you to be aware and read their privacy policy.

Where can you get more information about our privacy practices?

Our respective privacy policies contain more information about our privacy practices, including how you may request access to, or correction of, personal information we hold about you, how you can lodge a privacy complaint and how we manage such complaints. Whether your personal information has been collected by one of the below organisations will depend on which service you have used. 

 You can obtain the latest version of our privacy policies by going to our websites below:

Website cookies

When you interact with our website, we strive to make your experience easy and meaningful. We, including our third-party service providers, may use cookies and similar technologies to track site visitor activity and collect site data. Examples of information that we may collect includes technical information such as your computer’s IP address and your browser type, and information about your visit such as the products you viewed or searched for, the country you are in, what you clicked on and what links you visited to get to or from our site.

If we identify you with this information, any use or disclosure of that information will be in accordance with this Privacy Collection Notice and our individual privacy policies.

A cookie is a text file that a website transfers to your computer’s hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Cookies help us gather and store information about visitors to our websites and are intended to improve your website browsing experience whilst ordering. Our cookies assign a random, unique number to each visitor’s computer. They do not contain information that would personally identify the visitor, although we can associate a cookie with any identifying information that is or has been provided by a visitor while visiting our website.

We use cookies that remain on your computer for a specified period of time or until they are deleted (persistent cookies). These cookies record clickstream information (data reporting the URLs, or names of the pages, on our website that have been visited). We may also use cookies that exist only temporarily during an online session (session cookies) – these cookies allow you to log in to your account and they allow us to identify you temporarily as you move through the Website. Most browsers allow users to refuse cookies, but doing so may impede the functionality of some portions of our website.

We may also engage third parties, such as Google Analytics, to track and analyse website activity on our behalf. To do so, these third parties may place cookies or web beacons to track user activity on our website. The information generated by these cookies (including your truncated IP address) is transmitted to and stored by Google, and other third party providers, on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your, and other users’ use of our website and mobile website, compiling reports for us on website activity and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.

We use the data collected by such third parties to help us administer, report on and improve the quality of the Website and to analyse usage of the Website.

Contact us

If you have a privacy complaint or concern, please contact us in the first instance via the Contact us page.

You also have rights under the law to make complaints about our privacy practices directly to the Privacy Commissioner (https://www.oaic.gov.au) who has power to award compensation in appropriate cases.

This Privacy Collection Notice is current as at May 2021 and may be updated from time to time. Please consult this page regularly for any changes to the Privacy Collection Notice.