Australian Electoral Commission

Privacy

Updated: 17 January 2014

Condensed Privacy Policy

Scope

This Condensed Privacy Policy applies to personal information collected by the Australian Electoral Commission (the ‘AEC’).

The AEC has adopted the Layered Privacy Notice format1. This document provides you with a succinct overview of how we handle your personal information.

The Condensed Privacy Policy was last updated January 2014.

Personal Information Handling Practices

Collection

We usually collect personal information about individuals directly from those individuals or their authorised representative.

We also collect personal information from a third party or from a publicly available source, but only if:

  • the individual has consented to such collection or would reasonably expect us to collect their personal information in this way, or
  • it is collected for purposes that are directly related to our functions or activities under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, (the ‘Electoral Act’) and the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 (the ‘Referendum Act’) and subordinate laws made under those Acts (collectively referred to as ‘Electoral Legislation’) only when it is necessary for, or directly related to, such purposes.
    The AEC is authorised by sections 103A and 103B of the Electoral Act to enrol an eligible person not already enrolled without claim or notice from that person or to update or transfer a person’s enrolment without claim or notice from the person. The AEC uses information collected from a third party for this purpose.
  • if it is necessary for a specific purpose such as the investigation of a complaint relating to compliance with Electoral Legislation of the functions of the AEC.

Use and disclosure

We only use personal information for the purposes for which we collected it and for purposes that are directly related to one or more of our functions or activities.

We do not give personal information about an individual to other Government agencies, private sector organisations or anyone else unless one of the following applies:

  • the individual has consented
  • the individual would reasonably expect, or has been told, that information of that kind is usually passed to those individuals, bodies or agencies
  • it is otherwise required or authorised by law
    Section 90B of the Electoral Act authorises the AEC to give access to the electoral Roll to certain persons, agencies and organisations. The AEC reports in its Annual Report each year details of who has been given access to the electoral Roll in the past year.
  • it will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody's life or health, or
  • it is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of public revenue.

Data security

We take steps to protect the personal information we hold against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, and against other misuse.

When the personal information that we collect is no longer required, we destroy or delete it in a secure manner, in accordance with the AEC’s Records Disposal Authority.

Your choices

You can access the personal information that we hold about you, and you can ask us to correct the personal information we hold about you.

If you are listed on one or more of our media or network email lists you can opt out at any time. You can unsubscribe by using the ‘unsubscribe’ service or option noted in our subscriber emails.

Our obligations

The AEC is bound by the Information Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988 (the ‘Privacy Act’) and from 12 March 2014 will be bound by the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act.

How to contact us

For further information contact us at info@aec.gov.au or alternatively you can write to us at GPO Box 6172 Kingston ACT 2604, Australia.

Assisted contact options are also available.

Information collection and privacy protection through the AEC website

The AEC makes every effort to adhere to the Guidance for agency websites: 'Access to information' webpage developed by the Australian Information Commissioner.

In particular the AEC seeks to comply with Information Privacy Principles (see glossary below) 1 to 3 and 10 and 11 of the Privacy Act 1988. From 12 March 2014 the AEC will seek to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (See glossary below).

This page explains the type of information that is collected by the AEC, how such information is used, and under what circumstances and to whom it may be disclosed.

Your email address

The AEC will only record your email address in the event that you send a message by email, you register requesting notifications, you provide your email address when completing a claim for enrolment, or your email address is provided by a third party. Registration for notifications may be made initially by email, postal mail or facsimile. 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 consent by way of a specific request in writing. The AEC will not use or disclose your email address for any other purpose, without your prior written consent.

Clickstream data and cookies

When visiting this website the AEC's server makes a record of the visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes:

  • the user's server address – this allows us to consider the visitors who use the site most, and tailor the site to their interests and needs
  • the user's operating system (for example Windows, Mac etc.) – this allows us to tailor browser or platform specific parts of the site to each operating system because browsers act differently on each platform
  • the user's top level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au etc.) – this can allow us to tailor information relevant to different domains
  • the date and time of the visit to the site – this is important for identifying the website's busy times and ensuring maintenance on the site is conducted outside these periods
  • pages accessed and documents downloaded – this indicates to us which pages or documents are most important to our users and also helps identify important information that may be difficult to find
  • duration of the visit – this indicates to us how interesting and informative our site is to our users
  • geographic location – this shows us how well marketed our site is internationally
  • the site visited before the AEC website – this helps us determine the interests of our users and which sites are providing links to ours as well as sites where we may be able to seek links, and
  • the type of browser used – this is important for browser specific coding e.g. Javascript.

No attempt will be made to 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.

Linking to other sites

This site contains links to other sites. The AEC is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites. The AEC has no knowledge if cookies or other tracking devices are used on linked websites.

Security of Information

We provide a secure environment and a reliable system but you should be aware that there may be inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the internet. For those who do not wish to use the internet, the AEC provides alternative ways of obtaining and providing information.

Further information

If you have any privacy concerns, please contact the AEC National Office in Canberra by email info@aec.gov.au or phone 02 6271 4411. You can also obtain further information from the Australian Information Commissioner's website, or by phone on 1300 363 992.

Glossary

Australian Privacy Principles
13 principles substituted for the IPPs by amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 that commence operation on 12 March 2014. Commonwealth and ACT government agencies must comply with these principles in their handling of personal information in their possession. The principles can be accessed at ComLaw, the legal information retrieval system owned by the Australian Attorney General's Department.
Cookies
Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to your computer's hard disk for record-keeping purposes. Most web browsers are set to accept cookies. However, if you do not wish to receive any cookies you may set your browser to refuse cookies. In some instances this may mean you will not be able to take full advantage of parts of the Network. A server cannot find out a name or email address, or anything about a user's computer, by using cookies.
Domain name
The code for the country or type of internet connection a user comes from, such as '.com' '.gov' '.au' '.uk' .
Information Privacy Principles (IPPs)
11 principles established under section 14 of the Privacy Act 1988. Commonwealth and ACT government agencies must comply with these principles in their handling of personal information in their possession. The principles can be accessed at ComLaw, the legal information retrieval system owned by the Australian Attorney General's Department.
Internet Service Provider
A company or organisation that provides access to the internet for users.
Law enforcement agency
An agency of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory such as the Australian Federal Police.

1 The Layered Privacy Notices format was endorsed by Data Protection & Privacy Commissioners in 2003, further developed in the Berlin Memorandum and endorsed in Opinion WP 100 by the Article 29 Committee of European Data Protection Commissioners.