The Australian Government Department of Health (the Department) values the privacy of every individual's personal information and is committed to protecting your privacy when using this website, application or service (the Service) in accordance with the Privacy Act 1998 and, for web sites and web-enabled applications and services, the Privacy Commissioner’s Guidelines for Federal and ACT Government Websites.
These guidelines set out the requirements for transparent collection, appropriate and ethical use and secure storage of personal information. The Department’s aim is to provide an environment which will ensure the information you provide to us is handled in a secure, efficient and confidential manner.
Collection of your personal information
The personal information we collect via this Service includes:
- the content of any electronic forms you submit via this Service, requesting us to provide services or information, or take actions
- information submitted if you participate in a survey
- any messages you submit to us via this Service or to mailing addresses, email addresses, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts or other contact mechanisms displayed on this Service, which may include personal information such as name, email address and telephone number.
When you provide us with personal information about other individuals, we rely on you to make them aware:
- that such information will or may be provided to the Department
- of the types of third parties we may provide it to
- of the relevant purposes that we and such third parties will use it for
- how they may access it.
Use of your 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 for purposes including the following:
- for the purpose that we have collected the information
- purposes related to our research, planning, service development, security and testing
- purposes connected with the operation, administration, development or enhancement of our Service
- 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 Department and with third parties. The types of third parties to whom we may disclose that personal information includes service providers who assist us in providing this Service or our other products and services, such as providing archival, auditing, professional advisory, banking, mailhouse, delivery, recruitment, call centre, technology, research, utility and security services. We may also disclose your personal information to third parties acting on your behalf such as your solicitor or interpreter.
If you have made an online application, your application will be forwarded to the appropriate Department business unit or agency and any other third parties to whom your application relates or who assist in processing your application.
If you make a payment using this Service, we may process your payment with the assistance of a reputable third party electronic payments service provider and present you with an online receipt for your records.
Use of your email address
The Department only records your email address if you send us a message by email or mobile device, if you register to use one of our online or mobile services or if you register requesting notifications by email. If you do not want your email address to be recorded by the Department, you can send a postal mail or facsimile to the address below. Your email address will only be used for the purpose for which you have provided it, and will not be added to any mailing lists without your prior consent by way of a specific request in writing.
We will not use or disclose your email address for any other purpose without your prior written consent.
Use of your Facebook, Twitter or other social media account name
The Department only records your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account name (your Account Name) if you send us a message via the appropriate service, including via mobile device, if you use the account to register to use one of our online or mobile services, or if you register, fan or follow a Departmental account. If you do not want your Account Name to be recorded by the Department, you can unfollow or unfan the Department or send postal mail to the address below. Your Account Name will only be used for the purpose for which you have provided it, or for the purposes specified in Use of your personal information above. Your Account Name will not be added to any Departmental or external contact lists without your specific consent.
We will not use or disclose your Account Name for any other purpose without your prior written consent.
For information on the Acceptable Use Policy for Facebook and Twitter please visit the below links.
- Acceptable Use Policy - Health Star Rating Facebook page
- Acceptable Use Policy - Health Star Rating Twitter page
The Department uses both Session and Persistent ‘Cookies’ to recognise users as they travel through a website, application or service session. A cookie is a small file supplied by the Department, and stored by your web browser or application software on your computer or mobile device when you access our Service. Cookies do not record any personal or secure information about you and do not identify you personally. (An explanation of cookies can be found at the Privacy Commissioner’s site).
All session cookies are deleted when you end your current internet session or shut down your computer or mobile device.
The Department uses session cookies to allow us to track your movement between pages in our Services. This allows the Department to remember any information you have provided to the Service such that you do not have to enter it more than once and to customise any information and functionality presented to you to your specific needs.
For example, we may record when you have registered for a Service so that you remain logged in when moving between pages, or we may record the choices you make in an online form in order to present a customised outcome.
Our copy of your information will be automatically deleted twenty minutes after you last used the system. This information is only used to help you use our Service more efficiently, not to track your movements across the internet, or to record private information about you.
Persistent cookies are retained on your computer or mobile device between usage sessions and are deleted after a date, set within the cookie, expires.
The Department may use persistent cookies to remember information provided to a Service such that if you leave and then return the Service can be customised to present information or functionality specific to your needs.
For example, we may retain any preferences you have set such that you do not need to set them each time you visit the Service, such as adjusting the text size, language or the content that appears on pages.
This information is only used to help you use our Service more efficiently, not to track your movements across the internet, or to record private information about you.
Third party cookies
Third party cookies refers to cookies placed on your computer or mobile device by a party external to the Department when you visit one of the Department’s websites, applications or other services.
The Department only allows third party cookies from third party services providing reporting or other functionality that supports or improves your use of our Service. For information on which third party cookies are used in this Service, review the Third party services section below.
No attempt will be made by the Department to personally identify users or their browsing activities unless legally compelled to do so, such as in the event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the Internet Service Provider's log files.
While you can visit and browse this Service without accepting cookies, we may not be able to provide the full range of services available through this Service.
Statistical data collection
The Department makes a record of visits to our Services and logs the following information for statistical purposes:
- the user's server address
- the user's top level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au, .uk, etc)
- the date and time of access to the site
- pages accessed and documents downloaded
- the previous site visited
- type of browser used
This information is collected for the following purposes:
- Service and system administration, including monitoring to prevent security breaches
- enhancement of the Service to the user’s needs
- research and development
The data collected by these reporting systems is anonymous. Any system on this Service that records personal information about you, will specifically ask your permission first.
No attempt will be made to identify anonymous users or their browsing activities except in the unlikely event of an investigation where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the log files.
Third party services
This Service may make use of third party services to extend its functionality or capability.
To the extent permitted by law, the Department and its employees and agents are excluded from liability (including liability by reason of negligence) for any loss, damage, cost or expense, whether direct, indirect, consequential or specific caused by use or reliance on the third party services used to extend the functionality or capability of this Service.
Due to the ongoing improvement and adjustment of this Service, the list of third party services used may not be completely accurate or up to date. The Department endeavours to update this list at regular intervals, however accepts no responsibility for the omission of any third party service from the list.
The specific third party services used in this Service may include:
This Service may use AddThis to provide convenient functionality for users to share pages and material on this Service with others via a social network or electronic sharing system of their choice. AddThis may anonymously track the use of their share function, transmit this information to AddThis servers in the United States or other countries and use this information for the ongoing development and improvement of their service. You may refuse the use of AddThis by not using the AddThis share function, instead manually copying and pasting page addresses or specific material from this Service into an electronic sharing system or social network of your choice, subject to this Service’s copyright statement.
This Service may use Slideshare for the embedded display of presentation material on this Service. The information collected about your use of the SlideShare service embedded in this Service will be transmitted to and stored by SlideShare on servers in the United States. SlideShare will use this information for the purpose of compiling reports on presentation viewing activity, made available to the Department for development and improvement purposes. You may refuse to provide this information by not viewing presentations presented via SlideShare’s service.
This Service may use YouTube, owned by Google, for the embedded display of video material and captions within this Service. The information collected about your use of the YouTube video service embedded in this Service will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of compiling reports on video activity, made available to the Department for development and improvement purposes. You may refuse to provide this information by not viewing videos presented via YouTube’s service.
We have implemented technology and security policies, rules and measures to protect the personal information that we have under our control.
However, you should be aware that the internet is an insecure public network that gives rise to a potential risk that a user's transactions are being viewed, intercepted or modified by third parties or that files which the user downloads may contain computer viruses or other defects.
So while we strive to protect such information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information transmitted to us online and individuals do so at their own risk. Once any personal information comes into our possession, we will take reasonable steps to protect that information from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure. If you are concerned about conveying sensitive material to us over the internet, you might prefer to contact us by telephone or mail. We will remove personal information from our system where it is no longer required (except where archiving is required).
If you make an online application or another payment transaction using one of the Department’s Services we take additional steps to protect the security of your personal information, such as the use of 128-bit SSL encryption. Before using one of the Department’s online transactional services, you should ensure that you are using a web browser that supports 128-bit encryption. In many web browsers, you can confirm that your session is encrypted by the appearance of a locked padlock symbol at the foot of the browser.
If you have any queries, concerns or require further information relating to privacy, security or regarding access to your personal information collected by this Service or other Department services, please contact the Department of Health.
If you have concerns about using email, please use our postal address, write to:
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
CANBERRA ACT 2601