The Privacy Act defines personal information as information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.
At Swiftly Legal, we are dedicated to providing you with a quality service whilst protecting your privacy. We respect the confidentiality of your personal information and it is our policy to manage it appropriately.
The Federal Government’s Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act) governs privacy matters in Australia. The rules around how we at Swiftly Legal maintain your personal information and how we handle any requests to access and correct this information are based on this Act as well as the Australian Privacy Principles.
What information do we collect?
Swiftly Legal collects and holds personal information so that we can provide professional services to our clients and so that we can operate and market our legal practice business. The Privacy Act defines personal information as information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion. Some examples are name, date of birth, and bank account details.
Our firm collects and holds information such as:
- contact information, including residential and postal addresses,
- mobile or telephone number, and email addresses;
- information about your current occupation including employer and salary;
- billing and credit card information; and
- other personal information necessary to helping us with your legal matter, such as personal health information, information about your children, and government issued identifiers such as Tax File Number.
Our firm will only collect personal information that is actually needed for us to provide you with legal services. We will generally explain to you why we are collecting your personal information and how we plan to use it.
Our ability to provide you with legal services may be impacted if the personal information requested is not provided to us.
How do we collect information?
There are various ways that our firm collects information:
in the course of meeting with you or talking to you directly, on the telephone or via Skype;
in correspondence from you or third parties;
via “Contact Us” or “Enquire Now” forms on our website;
via website or telephone bookings for our free family law seminar; and
in court documents or other publicly available sources.
Generally, we will collect personal information about you only from you. Given the nature of the services that we provide, we may have to collect personal information about you from a third party. If we do have to collect information about you from a third party we will, where necessary, take reasonable action to notify you or make sure that you are aware that we are holding personal information about you, as well as how we will use and disclose this information, and that you may contact us to gain access to, correct and update it.
Please note, that it may not always be necessary for us to notify you. This will be the case where doing so would mean a breach of our legal professional privilege or obligations of confidence.
Any personal information submitted via one of our online forms will be processed by one of our employees working from our office located in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. By submitting personal information via one of our online forms, you automatically consent to the disclosure of that information to someone at our firm.
Why do we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?
We normally will collect, hold, use and disclose personal information to provide or offer legal services to you and to comply with relevant laws and regulations. We generally do not disclose personal information outside of Australia, however, there may be times where we disclose personal information to recipients located overseas, for example, where the party to the matter you have instructed us on is located overseas or where we have engaged the services of an overseas recipient such as Google for their data storage centres. We presently do not have any limitations on where personal information may be disclosed overseas.
Our firm aims to keep all personal information strictly confidential. There may be times when providing legal services to you that we need to disclose personal information to other third parties, such as law firms involved in your matter, barristers and mediators, valuers and conveyancers, government departments, and courts. The personal information we provide to such parties will depend on the circumstances requiring disclosure of that personal information and will not always be the same because of this.
How do we maintain personal information and its security?
We will generally maintain personal information in physical records (both at our office premise and at our storage facility), and as electronic records on our local servers. We take reasonable action to hold all hard copy and electronic records of your personal information in a secure way to ensure that it is protected from misuse, loss and interference, and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Where your personal information is no longer required by us for a valid purpose or needed to be kept by law, we will destroy or de-identify your personal information. Please note that personal information collected may also be used to send automated emails and SMS messages. Such correspondence is automated using xxx, an online marketing platform.
Our firm may access the data captured by xxx online from time to time, for example, to ensure that automated correspondence has been received. It is your responsibility to ensure that the personal information you have provided to our firm for such correspondence is secure and only accessible by you alone.
What do you do if you want to access and correct your personal information?
At any point in time, you may request to access or correct your personal information if you think that it is, erroneous, incomplete, out-of-date, unrelated or misleading. A reason is not needed when you make a request.
No fee is charged by our firm for a request to update or correct your personal information, but a small fee may be charged by our firm for providing access to your personal information if it involves a substantial amount of time to collect or locate it or to present it in a suitable form.
Please note that the Privacy Act allows us to deny you access in some situations. This may include circumstances where providing the personal information would constitute a breach of our obligations of confidence, or legal professional privilege. If we do not allow you access to your personal information, or we are not able to make your requested amendments, a reasonable explanation for doing so will be provided to you.
Your information will not be used by our firm for the purpose of direct marketing. From time to time existing clients may receive an automated email from our office regarding changes to our business operations, such as our operating hours over holiday periods, and changes in our lawyer fees. This will be automated using xxx, an online marketing platform, and will only be in the case that we have collected the information to do so directly from you.
If you do not wish to receive these emails, you can contact our reception on xxxxxxxxx or via email xxxxxxxxx and they will remove you from the automated email list.
If unsolicited personal information is received by our firm and it has been determined that we could not have acquired the information by lawful means, reasonable action in accordance with the law will be taken to de-identify or destroy the personal information.
Our firm wants to ensure our services meet all client expectations. We therefore take complaints seriously, and we will aim to investigate and resolve your complaint in a timely manner.
Privacy Officer (Practice Manager)
Carew Counsel Solicitors
Level 10, 313 La Trobe Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Telephone: +61 3 9670 5711
Facsimile: +61 3 9670 2226
If you are unhappy with our response, you can contact the Office of Australian Information Commissioner via its enquiries line 1300 363 992 or visit their website http://www.oaic.gov.au/ where you can lodge a complaint.