Privacy

Our Privacy Policy explains how we collect, use and disclose personal information.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Water Corporation complies with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

We collect personal information about individuals in order to provide services, to compile statistical data and to perform research and evaluation programs to improve our services in the future. This policy specifies how we collect, use, disclose and manage personal information, regardless of whether the information is in electronic or other form.

The Water Corporation’s policy is to respect and protect the privacy of Personal Information (including Sensitive Information) collected from individuals. 

The Water Corporation is committed to protecting Personal Information in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the Water Corporation deals with Personal Information in the manner described above. This policy specifies how the Water Corporation collects, uses, discloses and manages Personal Information, regardless of whether the information is in electronic or hardcopy form.

This policy covers the following topics relating to the Water Corporation’s management of Personal Information:

  • Collection;
  • Collection of Water Corporation website visit data;
  • Use and disclosure;
  • Cross-border disclosure;
  • Accuracy and security;
  • Access and correction; and
  • Complaints.
Australian Privacy Principles  Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) as set out in Schedule 1 to the Privacy Act.
Personal Information Information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether the information or opinion is:
(a) true or not; and
(b) recorded in a material form or not.
Privacy Act Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
Sensitive Information Has the meaning in the Privacy Act and includes information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or practices, political opinions or associations, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of professional or trade associations or trade unions, or criminal record that is also personal information, or health information or genetic information about an individual.
Non Identifiable Information
Information that is not about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, such as aggregate average data pertaining to website hits or water usage.

The Water Corporation collects Personal Information about individuals in order to provide services, to compile statistical data and to perform research and evaluation programs to improve our services in the future. 

The Water Corporation only collects Personal Information that is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of the Water Corporation’s functions or activities, and ensures that all Personal Information held by the Water Corporation, including information contained in documents and electronic or other devices, is handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy and in a manner that is consistent with the APPs and the Privacy Act.

The Water Corporation will not collect Personal Information unless the information is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of the Water Corporation’s functions or activities. 

The kinds of Personal Information that the Water Corporation may ask an individual to provide include name, date of birth, address, telephone number/s and email address. Additional Personal Information may also be volunteered by our customers to assist with the delivery of our services, including marital status, gender, birth or marriage certificates, powers of attorney and medical information. 

The Water Corporation may ask individuals to provide Personal Information via various methods including telephone, fax and forms (both hard copy and electronic, such as via a website) in support of an application by the individual for a particular service from the Water Corporation. 

The Water Corporation will collect Personal Information about an individual only from that individual, unless the individual consents to the collection of the information from someone else. 

At the time of collecting the Personal Information, the Water Corporation will take reasonable steps to notify the individuals giving the information about:

  • the identity and contact details of the Water Corporation;
  • the purposes for which the Water Corporation collects the Personal Information;
  • the main consequences (if any) for the individual if all or some of the Personal Information is not collected by the Water Corporation;
  • any other person or entity to which the Water Corporation usually discloses the Personal Information it collects;
  • that the Water Corporation’s Privacy Policy contains information about how the individual may access the Personal Information about the individual that is held by the Water Corporation and seek the correction of such information;
  • that the Water Corporation’s Privacy Policy contains information about how the individual may complain about the Water Corporation’s collection, use or storage of their Personal Information and how the Water Corporation will deal with such a complaint; and
  • whether the Water Corporation is likely to disclose the Personal Information to overseas recipients and if so, the countries in which those recipients are likely to be located, to the extent practicable.

Personal Information collected from individuals may be held in a variety of different formats, including:

  • conventional hardcopy records maintained at the Water Corporation’s offices, and/or secure secondary storage premises;
  • electronic records/data managed in corporate business systems such as –
    • ‘aqua’, corporate recordkeeping system;
    • ‘Grange’, customer accounts records;
    • ‘FMS’, customer property relationship records;
    • ‘My Water,’ customer account records; and
    • ‘SAP R/3’, service delivery and maintenance records; and
  • secure backups of corporate business systems maintained on Water Corporation premises with a copy maintained at a secure off-site premises.

The Water Corporation’s external service providers may also store Personal Information in their facilities for the purposes of providing services to the Water Corporation. Some of these facilities may be located outside of Australia as described in section 9 below.

The Personal Information collected from individuals may be used:

  • to provide individuals with the service that they requested or to meet the purpose for which the information was submitted;
  • to identify with whom the Water Corporation is communicating (if necessary);
  • to create de-identified aggregate data about certain groups of individuals; or
  • for any other purpose the Water Corporation considers necessary.

NOTE:

  • The Water Corporation will not collect, use or disclose Sensitive Information about an individual unless the individual consents to the collection of the information and the information is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of the Water Corporation’s functions or activities.
  • The Water Corporation’s collection, use or disclosure of Non Identifying Information is not subject to this policy.

The Water Corporation uses “cookies” and similar technology on its websites.

The use of such technology is an industry standard, and will be used to monitor the effectiveness of Water Corporation advertising and how you use our websites. The Water Corporation also uses cookies to generate statistics, measure user activity, improve the website/applications and to enhance the customer experience.

Water Corporation website user can opt-out of cookies if they adjust their internet browsers to refuse cookies or to notify them when cookies are being used, Certain features on the Water Corporation websites may not function properly or optimally if cookies have been turned off.

The Water Corporation may use analytics data supplied by third party vendors to inform and optimise ad campaigns. Third party vendors may show Water Corporation ads on sites on the Internet and serve these ads based on a user’s prior visits to the Water Corporation website and other Internet activity.

Individuals may access and use most of the features on the Water Corporation websites without disclosing any Personal Information to the Water Corporation. However, the Water Corporation may require an individual to provide Personal Information before accessing certain areas of the website. If the Water Corporation collects Personal Information at any time during an individual’s visit to the website, this information will be treated in accordance with the principles outlined in this policy.

If an individual sends an email message to the Water Corporation, the Water Corporation will only record and use the individual’s email address for the purpose for which the individual has provided it. The Water Corporation will not add the individual’s email address to a mailing list without the individual’s consent (whether express or implied). The Water Corporation will preserve the content of any email it receives if there is a legal requirement to do so.

When an individual visits a Water Corporation website, the Water Corporation may use cookies to collect and record the following information about the individual’s visit for statistical purposes only:

  • the individual’s server address;
  • the individual’s top level domain name (for example, .au, .gov, .com, .uk);
  • the date and time of the website visit;
  • the pages accessed and the documents downloaded from the website;
  • the previous website visited; and
  • the type of browser used.

The Water Corporation will never make any attempt to identify individuals or their browsing activities based on the above information. However, in the unlikely event of an investigation, a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the Water Corporation’s internet service provider’s logs.

No data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be completely secure and the Water Corporation cannot warrant the security, integrity or privacy of any Personal Information submitted via the Water Corporation’s website.

The Water Corporation website may contain links to other sites. This policy does not apply to external third party websites which are linked to a Water Corporation website and over which the Water Corporation has no control. Individuals are responsible for checking the privacy policy of any other website that they visit. The Water Corporation takes no responsibility for any third party websites.

The Water Corporation will use or disclose Personal Information collected from an individual to the extent that it is deemed necessary to provide the service that the individual has requested or to meet the purpose for which a request was submitted and the Personal Information provided. 

The Water Corporation may also use or disclose Personal Information collected from an individual:

  • if the individual has agreed to such use or disclosure at the time of collection;
  • in order to participate in activities with business partners (whose identities will be disclosed to the individual when the relevant Personal Information is collected);
  • to enable market research for the purpose of meeting the needs of particular groups of individuals, such as customers or employees;
  • if the use or disclosure is required by law or is necessary for the purpose of a judicial process or an enforcement related activity;
  • if the use or disclosure is necessary to protect the rights of the Water Corporation or to reduce or prevent unlawful activity or serious threats to individuals, public health or safety; or
  • otherwise as permitted or authorised by law.
The Water Corporation is involved in information sharing with a number of government agencies and all local government authorities. These include the Department of Water, the Department of Housing, the Valuer General’s Office and the Department of Land Administration. The Water Corporation may also provide aggregate de-identified data (such as water usage patterns) to other parties on request. 

The Water Corporation will only disclose Personal Information to third parties to the extent necessary to carry out the purposes outlined above. Whenever possible, the Water Corporation will ensure that third parties to whom Personal information is disclosed have in place privacy practices that protect the confidentiality of Personal Information. The Water Corporation also takes reasonable steps to ensure that any contract it has with third parties to whom Personal Information is disclosed contain appropriate contractual obligations on those third parties regarding the use of that Personal Information.

If an individual informs the Water Corporation that they do not wish to have their Personal Information used or disclosed for a particular purpose, the Water Corporation will respect those wishes, unless this is not legally or practically possible.

The Water Corporation may disclose Personal Information locally and overseas to other parties including to any agent, contractor or third party who provides administrative or other services to the Water Corporation,

The countries in which these third parties are located will depend on the circumstances. In the ordinary course of business the Water Corporation commonly discloses Personal Information to parties located in the United States of America.

Where the Water Corporation discloses Personal Information to overseas recipients, it will do so in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act. This may include imposing contractual obligations to comply with the Privacy Act in the contracts that the Water Corporation enters into with overseas recipients.

The Water Corporation will take reasonable steps to:

  • ensure that Personal Information it collects is accurate, complete and up-to-date;
  • ensure that the Personal Information it uses or discloses is, having regard to the purpose of the use or disclosure, accurate, up-to-date, complete and relevant;
  • protect Personal Information from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure; and
  • destroy or permanently de-identify Personal Information which it no longer needs to use or disclose, unless the information is contained in a Commonwealth record or the Water Corporation is required to retain the information by law or by a court/tribunal order.

If at any time an individual wishes to:

  • find out more about the Water Corporation’s privacy practices;
  • access or correct Personal Information about that individual that is held by the Water Corporation; or
  • where the Water Corporation refuses to correct the information as requested by the individual – associate a statement with the Personal Information that the information is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading,

the individual may contact the Water Corporation’s Privacy Officer by email to privacy@watercorporation.com.au.

The Water Corporation will endeavour to respond to all requests and enquiries within 14 days, and in any event, within 30 days after the request is made.

The Water Corporation will normally give access to Personal Information upon request and in the manner requested by the individual where it is lawful, reasonable and practicable to do so. If the Water Corporation refuses to give access to the Personal Information as requested by the individual, the Water Corporation will:

  • use reasonable endeavours to give access in a way that meets the needs of both the Water Corporation and the individual, which may include the use of a mutually agreed intermediary;
  • give the individual a written notice that sets out the reasons for the refusal (where reasonable to do so), the mechanisms available to complain about the refusal, and any other matter prescribed by the regulations.

The Water Corporation will correct Personal Information it holds to ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which it is held, the information is accurate, up to date, complete, relevant and not misleading, either upon request by the individual to correct the information or where the Water Corporation is satisfied that the information is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading having regard to a purpose for which the information is held.

If the Water Corporation corrects Personal Information about an individual that the Water Corporation previously disclosed to an APP entity, the Water Corporation will ensure that reasonable steps are taken to notify the APP entity of the correction, if requested by the individual.

If the Water Corporation refuses to correct the Personal Information as requested by the individual, the Water Corporation will:

  • give the individual a written notice that sets out the reasons for the refusal (where reasonable to do so), the mechanisms available to complain about the refusal, and any other matter prescribed by the regulations;
  • upon request by an individual, take reasonable steps to associate with the information a statement that the information is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, and in such a way that will make the statement apparent to users of the information.

The Water Corporation does not charge an individual for giving access to, correcting or associating a statement with Personal Information, or for the making of any request to do so. The Water Corporation may require that the person requesting access provide suitable identification and the Water Corporation may charge an administrative fee for granting access to Personal Information.

The processes outlined above do not replace any other process by which an individual can seek correction of their Personal Information, including by way of information arrangements and under the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

If at any time an individual believes that the Water Corporation has not adhered to this policy, the individual may lodge a complaint with the Water Corporation’s Privacy Officer by email to privacy@watercorporation.com.au.

The complaint should:

  • specify the name and address of the complainant;
  • briefly describe the conduct that gave rise to the interference with the complainant’s privacy;
  • specify what action the complainant has taken to rectify the problem;
  • describe any response received by the complainant.

The Water Corporation’s Privacy Officer will acknowledge receipt of all complaints within 14 days of receiving the complaint.

The Privacy Officer will then conduct a review of all documents within the Water Corporation that are relevant to the complaint. Where the Privacy Officer has determined that an individual has a valid complaint under this policy, the Water Corporation will take appropriate action to resolve the issue.

Where an individual’s complaint is not valid, the Privacy Officer will send a formal response to the individual outlining the reasons why the complaint is not valid to the complainant.

Privacy Act 1988

Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012

Key compliance references

Freedom of Information Act 1992

Supporting Information – Available from www.oaic.gov.au

  • Australian Privacy Principle 1 – Open and transparent management of personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 2 – Anonymity and pseudonymity
  • Australian Privacy Principle 3 – Collection of solicited personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 4 – Dealing with unsolicited personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 5 – Notification of the collection of personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 6 – Use or disclosure of personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 7 – Direct marketing
  • Australian Privacy Principle 8 – Cross border disclosure of personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 9 – Adoption, use or disclosure of government related identifiers
  • Australian Privacy Principle 10 – Quality of personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 11 – Security of personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 12 – Access to personal information
  • Australian Privacy Principle 13 – Correction of personal information