The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 requires NSW Government agencies to treat information about known individuals with special care. The Act has requirements in relation to the collection, storage, use and disclosure of such personal information.
The Act acknowledges that particular agencies will have important roles to carry out on behalf of the public that may require departure from or modification to these restrictions on personal information. In such cases, a Privacy Code of Practice can modify the Act to allow the agency to carry out its function.
The NSW Department of Education and Communities has in place a Privacy Code of Practice to allow for the work of schools and TAFE NSW colleges. Broadly, it covers the following domains:
- Investigative functions
- Counsellor records
- Child protection
- Safe and disciplined learning environment
- Legal purposes
- Board of Studies
The following sets out how the NSW Department of Education and Communities will deal with personal information related to the content and use of its websites. This statement applies to all pages on Departmental sites, unless otherwise indicated.
1. Collection of personal information
Information Automatically Logged
The Department may make a record of your visit and logs any of the following information for statistical and business purposes: the user's server address, domain name and IP address, the date and time of the visit, the pages accessed and documents downloaded, the previous site visited and the type of browser used.
If you send us a message, the Department may record your email address or other information supplied. The Department will gather more extensive information than stated above in the following circumstances:
- unauthorised attempts to access files which are not published Department pages;
- unauthorised tampering or interference with files published on the Department's sites;
- unauthorised attempts to index the contents of Department sites by other web sites;
- attempts to intercept messages of other Departmental users;
- communications which are defamatory, abusive, vilify individuals or groups, or which give rise to a suspicion that an offence is being committed;
- attempts to otherwise compromise the security of the web server, breach the laws of the State of New South Wales or Commonwealth of Australia, or interfere with the enjoyment of the Department's websites by other users.
Department sites have security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information.
A login name and password are required to visit some secure areas, and before personal information is published on the site, visitors are required to enter their password as well. This is to ensure that the information is displayed only to the intended person. You should ensure that your password is kept securely and cannot be discovered by anyone else.
It is possible to disable the accepting of cookies by your web browser, however doing so may restrict your ability to access some web pages.
If personal information is collected via a website this will be done by sufficiently secure means. Individuals will be provided with alternative means of providing personal information to the Department, other than via the website.
For certain applications, our site's registration forms require users to give contact information (like name and email address), and unique identifiers (like login identification and password).
Feedback forms are provided by the Department on its websites to allow users to provide valuable input into the future development of the site and to comment on the provision of services by the Department.
The provision of personal details on feedback forms is optional.
Users may provide personal details for the purpose of receiving a reply to their feedback. This information will only be used for the purpose for which it was provided. We will not add your email address or name to any mailing list.
The Department may publish aggregated information about feedback on the site, to the extent that it does not identify or cannot be used to identify individual users.
Some Department sites contain links to other sites. The Department is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.
2. Use of personal information
Personal information you supply online will be used by Department staff in conducting the business of the Department. Such uses include matters related to administration, provision of services and the dissemination of information to staff, students and parents.
To improve the services provided, the Department may extract and publish aggregated information about usage patterns from these records. For example, our usage reports may examine trends based on the following information - your server address, your top level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au, .uk etc), the date and time of visit to the site, the pages accessed and documents downloaded, the previous site visited, the type of browser used and operating system.
Contact information from registration forms is used to get in touch with the visitor to a website when necessary, for example when the visitor is seeking information from the Department.
3. Disclosure of personal information
The Department will not disclose personal information concerning you, including your email address, to parties outside the Department except in accordance with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act. Details regarding disclosure of personal information by the Department may be found in the Privacy Code of Practice.
The Department reserves the right to make disclosures to relevant authorities where the use of any of its websites raises a suspicion that an offence is being, or has been, committed. In the unlikely event of an investigation, the Department will provide access to data to any law enforcement agency that may exercise a warrant to inspect our logs.
Some Department sites may have chat rooms, forums, message boards, and/or news groups available to its users. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.
4. Data quality/access
The Department will always try to maintain accurate, complete and up-to-date information regarding students and staff. The necessary procedures are in place to facilitate amendments and verification of personal information. If you wish to access personal information about yourself or you think that your personal information retained by the Department requires changing, please contact the Department's Freedom of Information & Privacy Unit on 9561 8323.
5. Online transactions
In some cases, the Department's websites permit users to submit information or conduct transactions for official government, business or legal purposes.
As there may be specific legal provisions relating to the use of information submitted for the purpose of conducting an official transaction with the Department or one of its units, the scope of the user's privacy in those cases will be explained on the transaction page.
6. Updating policy
Due to the developing nature of privacy principles for online communication, this policy may be modified or expanded in light of new developments or issues that may arise from time to time.
- Consider your competencies
- See qualifications that match
- Find an RTO to assess you
This tool can help identify skills of a large group of students or employees for RPL purposes. It is freely available for registered users. View the Guide to GSI.
Tel: Rajeev Arora 9266 8440
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