Privacy statement

Fair Trading is part of the Department of Customer Service. Fair Trading is committed to responsibly and properly managing the personal and health information we collect and protecting the privacy of our customers and members of the public who use our services. NSW Privacy Law and privacy standards for the NSW public sector, known as Information and Protection Principles and Health Privacy Principles, regulates the way information is collected, used, stored and personal and health disclosed. .

These standards are set out in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PIPP Act) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002.

Collection

What personal and health information we collect

Fair Trading collects the personal and health information we need to provide you with our services, such as your name, date of birth, contact details, payment information and details collected in response to your inquiry or to assist you with a matter.

We only collect the information we need to provide our services.

How we collect your personal and health information

Personal information and health information can be collected directly or from someone you authorise to act on your behalf, via email, phone, application form or social media.

Feedback forms

Forms are provided on the website and allow visitors to provide valuable input into the future development of the site and comment on services provided. Personal details aren’t mandatory fields, however visitors can provide their details e.g. an email address, to receive a reply to their feedback. Access and use of this information is restricted to approved staff in Fair Trading. We may publish collected information about site feedback that does not identify or cannot be used to identify individual visitors.

Email address collection

By voluntarily suppling your email address, you’re authorising Fair Trading to contact you about information relating to the website.

Licensees and authority holders

If you’re a licensee or other authority holder under Fair Trading legislation and supply an email address, we may use it to send information to you relevant to the activities of the licence or authority category.

Email updates subscription services

We send email updates to people who have given consent (expressed or inferred). Each electronic correspondence provides clear instructions on how to unsubscribe, if you wish to unsubscribe from more than one email updates service, please advise us by contacting nswfairtrading@yourfeedback.nsw.gov.au.

Social networking services

Social networking services such as Facebook are used to communicate with the public about our work and provide services. When communicating with us using social media, we may collect your personal information, but will only use it to help us communicate with you. We remind visitors not to post any of their personal information of themselves and others.

This Fair Trading Privacy Statement does not extend to social networking services, who handle your personal information for its own purposes and have their own privacy policies.

We may also collect information about you indirectly, including from:

  • our agents or contractors
  • third parties, such as training organisations
  • other state and federal government agencies, such as the NSW and Federal Police (security or criminal reference checks), State or Territory agencies regarding activities relevant to licence applications or licences and equivalent regulators in other jurisdictions, and
  • others in the event of an emergency

When we collect your personal and health information, or when we tell you we’ve collected it from someone else, we’ll let you know:

  • that we’re collecting it/have collected it
  • whether the provision of information is mandatory or voluntary
  • what it will be used for
  • who it will be provided to, and
  • your rights to access and correct the information

Why we collect your personal and health information

Fair Trading may need to collect your personal information to:

  • assist you with a consumer inquiry
  • process a licence application or related appeal
  • conduct compliance management and monitoring
  • respond to a request for information we hold
  • investigate complaints
  • respond to a complaint or notification of an incident
  • help in business planning and service improvements, and
  • research and develop our services

Storage

Personal and health information is secured against unauthorised access on controlled systems. Information is protected by reasonable security safeguards from unauthorised use or disclosure and kept no longer than necessary and disposed of appropriately.

Access and accuracy

You can request to be provided with the personal and health information held about you. How to access your information is described on page 19 of the Customer Service Privacy Management Plan. Alternatively, email us in writing at privacy@customerservice.nsw.gov.au

If you discover the personal and health information held about you is inaccurate, please contact us via nswfairtrading@yourfeedback.nsw.gov.au. If the amendment is refused, reasons for that decision will be given e.g. we disagree the information is inaccurate or authorised by law.

Use of personal and health information

We use the information we hold to:

  • respond to and manage enquiries and complaints
  • process licence and other applications and send licence renewal notices
  • manage and monitor compliance where Fair Trading has issued an approval, accreditation, licence or other type of authorisation under the legislation
  • evaluate our programs and services, and
  • undertake research and plan new services

We ensure the personal and health information is relevant, accurate, up to date, complete and not misleading before using it. Further information about how we use the personal information we hold is available in the Customer Service Privacy Management Plan.

Disclosure

We may need to provide your personal and health information to organisations outside of Fair Trading, for example:

  • our agents or contractors
  • third parties, such as training and research organisations and Australia Post for the processing of licences
  • other state and federal government agencies, such as NSW and Federal Police (security or criminal reference checks), or a State Training Authority, State or Territory agencies regarding activities relevant to licence applications or licences and equivalent regulators in other jurisdictions, and
  • others, in the event of an emergency.

We only disclose personal and health information:

  • for a purpose directly related to the reason we have collected it, and where Fair Trading has no reason to believe the individual would object
  • where the individual concerned has been put on notice that information is usually disclosed in this way, or
  • if necessary to do so to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to someone’s life or health

We will not disclose personal or health information about a person’s ethnic or racial origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health or sexual activities, unless such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lesson a serious and imminent threat to life or health.

Other important elements

What exemptions apply?

Generally, Fair Trading doesn’t have to comply with certain Information Protection Principles and Health Privacy Principles where this would prevent Fair Trading from carrying out its proper functions, such as investigation and prosecution of suspected offences under relevant legislation.

Online registers

Fair Trading publishes and maintains several online registers under the Acts that it administers. In maintaining these registers, we only publish information for a public purpose which is in accordance with the law and the purpose of the register. Individuals can request for suppression of personal information to be held on the register in exceptional circumstances where the safety or well-being of the person is at risk.

Spam

Spam is 'unsolicited commercial electronic messaging'. As part of our commitment to maintaining your privacy, we do not condone or encourage spam. In accordance with the SPAM Act 2003, we will only send commercial electronic messages with the addressee's expressed or inferred consent to receive it. All messages will have clear and accurate information about Fair Trading as the sender and will have a functional unsubscribe facility. All requests to unsubscribe will be dealt with promptly.

General policy might not apply to online transactions

In some cases, our website permits visitors to submit information or conduct transactions (e.g. renewing a business name or changing registered business name details) for official government or legal purposes. Any specific privacy requirements that relate to these online transactions are explained on the individual page.

Complaints concerning Fair Trading privacy practice

If you’re not satisfied with the way Fair Trading has dealt with your personal or health information, you can make a complaint, which will are dealt with promptly and confidentially. Please visit our feedback page for further details on how to contact us. Alternatively, you can lodge a complaint with the NSW Privacy Commissioner.

Further information about our handling of complaints is available in the Customer Service Privacy Management Plan. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of our review, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a further review of the conduct. The Tribunal has the power to make orders it thinks necessary, including the power to award damages.

Privacy complaints about other persons or bodies

Privacy complaints can also be directed to the NSW Privacy Commissioner. The Commissioner doesn’t have power to make orders or award compensation, but will reconcile complaints by assisting parties to reach a decision.

Maintaining the policy

Due to the developing nature of privacy principles for online communication, this policy may be changed due to new developments or issues that may arise.

Related information

Department of Finance, Innovation & Services Privacy Management Plan

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002

Information and Privacy Commission NSW

GIPA and Privacy
Department of Customer Service
2 – 24 Rawson Place
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9619 8672

For privacy and accessing Fair Trading information:
privacy@customerservice.nsw.gov.au

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