Collection and Use
Personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not.
Your personal information may be collected in the ordinary course of our business and where it is reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions or activities. The personal information we collect, hold, use and disclose about you will depend on the nature of your relationship with us. For example, we may collect different types of personal information from customers who attend our puppy pre-school, to clients of our veterinary surgeries who have asked us to assist in making a credit application to our preferred credit supplier, VetPay, on their behalf. The personal information we routinely collect includes your name, address, telephone number and fax number, email address, information about your pets and animals, and information about how you use our products and services. Our Vet may also collect personal information about you from other companies within the Our Vet Group.
However, where possible and practicable we will only collect personal information directly from you. If information is collected from an alternative source and it is unclear that you have consented to the disclosure of your personal information to us, then reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that you are aware of the circumstances surrounding the collection and purposes for which we collected your personal information.
We may use your personal information for a number of purposes, including:
To identify you and the patient and medical records relating to your pet or animal.
To contact you in the event of an emergency (for example, when your pet or animal is sick or hospitalised).
To provide you with the products and services you have requested and to develop and improve the products and services offered to you.
To send you reminders concerning the healthcare of your pet or animal.
To provide you with general healthcare information about your pet or animal.
To market the products and services of Our Vet and the Our Vet Group, and to enable companies in the Our Vet Group to market directly to you.
To facilitate appropriate communication between you and Pet Health Insurance organisations or our preferred credit suppliers.
To comply with any legal obligations or governance requirements in respect of your pet or animal.
Where we use your personal information to send you marketing and promotional information by post, email or telephone, we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of receiving such information. By electing not to opt-out, we will assume we have your implied consent to receive similar information and communications in the future. We will always ensure that our opt-out notices are clear, prominently displayed and easy to take up.
We may disclose your personal information to other companies within the Our Vet Group and to our employees, agents, contractors or external services providers (such as advertising, marketing and promotional agencies, debt collectors and professional advisers) so that we can operate our business and provide you with the products and services you have requested.
We may also disclose your personal information to others outside the Our Vet Group where we are required or authorised by law, where you have expressly consented to the disclosure, or where the consent may be reasonably inferred from the circumstances, or where we are otherwise permitted to disclose that information under the Privacy Act.
Security of Personal Information
We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the storage, use and where necessary, the transfer of your personal information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects your privacy. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that information will be protected from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Data security will be protected by a number of means, including:
Personal data only being accessed by authorised persons with a need for access.
Staff being bound by internal information security policies which require them to keep information secure and confidential.
All computers being protected by firewall and appropriate audit trails.
E-mail being secure from interception and virus protected.
Data having physical security from intruders.
All filing cabinets containing personal data being locked at night.
The disposal of paper or electronic data being secure and regulated.
Personal information will be retained for as long as is required by law or is prudent having regard to the purpose for which the information was collected. We will then take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to destroy or de-identify your personal information.
We may also gather your IP address as part of our functions and activities and to assist with any operational difficulties or support issues with our products or services. This information does not identify you personally.
Access and Correction
You may request access to your personal information that is held by us. You may also ask us to update, correct or delete any information that we hold about you at any time.
You can make a request to either access or correct your personal information to the contact details set out below. We will respond to your request in a reasonable period of time after receiving your request. Please note that we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making any correction to or deletion of your information.
There is no fee for requesting the correction of your personal information or for us in making such corrections. In processing your request for access to your personal information, a reasonable cost may be charged.
Our Vet may also contact you from time to time to check that your information is still accurate, up-to-date, complete and relevant for the purpose for which it is held.
If there are any circumstances that may restrict your access to this information then reasons for denying such access will be explained in accordance with our obligations under the APPs.
Identifying numbers used to identify you will not be derived from identification numbers used by any other agency or organisation (for example, tax file numbers).
You have the right to be dealt with anonymously or use a pseudonym (an alias), provided this is lawful and practicable (for example, when making an enquiry). It may not always be practicable to deal with you anonymously or pseudonymously on an ongoing basis (for example, when providing your pet veterinary services). We will endeavour to make this option clear when it is available to you.
If we do not collect personal information about you, we may not be able to provide you with the product or service you have requested.
Cross-border disclosure of your personal information
Except as set out in this policy, we will only send your personal information outside Australia with your consent or if we are authorised or required to do so by law.
We use IT and data service providers to send your personal information overseas for the purposes of data storage and hosted management systems. As a result, your personal information may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside Australia. Currently, this is limited to the United States of America. We take such steps as are necessary in the circumstances to ensure that any overseas data storage and hosted management systems we engage do not breach the APPs, including through contractual arrangements.
We will not collect sensitive information about you without your express consent. Sensitive information includes health information and information about a person’s race, ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of trade associations, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual preferences or criminal history.
It is important to us that your expectations about the way we handle your information are the same as ours. Please do not hesitate to discuss with us any concerns, questions or complaints about any issues related to the privacy of your personal information with us. Questions or complaints concerning our privacy practices should be directed to our Privacy Officer using one of the following methods:
Mail: Unit 1, 2-6 Sloane Street Maribyrnong VIC 3032.
We will aim to deal with your complaints in a prompt and responsive manner.
If you are dissatisfied with our response then you are entitled to make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner using any of the methods listed on its website (http://www.oaic.gov.au). To learn more about the Privacy Act, you should visit www.privacy.gov.au.