Legalpedia Qld:Privacy policy

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QPILCH recognises the importance of your privacy and understands your concerns about the security of your personal information. Your personal information is information or an opinion about you that allows us to identify you. This privacy policy describes generally how we manage personal information and safeguard your privacy.

Who does this policy cover?

QPILCH is the name we use in this Privacy Policy to describe ourselves (“we”/ “us”). This privacy policy applies to QPILCH and all the services we operate including:

  • the Public Interest and QLS and Bar Pro Bono Referral Services;
  • the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic and Refugee Civil Law Clinic;
  • the Mental Health Law Practice;
  • the Mental Health Civil Law Clinics;
  • the Outreach Legal Clinics;
  • Legal Pod; and
  • the Self Representation Services at QCAT, the Supreme and District Courts and Federal Courts.

Using other websites

Our website may contain links or references to other websites to which this privacy policy may not apply. You should review the privacy policy of each of those websites and assess whether those policies are acceptable to you before using those websites.

Collecting your personal information

We collect, use and disclose personal information in order to perform our functions and activities, including:

  • assessing eligibility for pro bono legal assistance;
  • referring applications for pro bono legal assistance to our member firms and barristers;
  • providing direct legal advice and assistance through one of our direct advice services (including the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, Refugee Civil Law Clinic, Self Representation Services at QCAT, the Supreme and District Courts and the Federal Court, Legal Pod and our Outreach Legal Clinics andMental Health Civil Law Clinics); and
  • providing updates about our activities and events.

If you would prefer to interact with us anonymously or using a name other than your own (a “pseudonym”), please let us know. If you do not provide us with certain personal information (such as your contact details), we may still be able to do certain things, like accepting donations. However, we may not be able to do other things, such as progressing your application for pro bono legal assistance or providing direct advice and assistance to you. The kinds of personal information we collect and hold will depend on how you interact with us and how we can help you. However, it may include:

  • information you give us when you request a service from us or donate money to us. This information will usually include your contact details (such as your name and address);
  • information we collect in the course of assessing your application for pro bono legal assistance or providing you with direct advice;
  • communications between us and you in relation to your matter;
  • sensitive information (which is a category of personal information that includes information about things like your health, ethnic origin, political or religious beliefs, sexual preferences and genetic or biometric information) such as whether you have a disability, whether you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or whether English is your first language. We will only collect this kind of information from you with your consent, so it is your choice whether or not to provide this information to us; and
  • if you are using our website, your IP address.

We prefer to collect your personal information directly from you through our Application Form or through telephone conversations or other correspondence with you. But sometimes, we may collect your personal information from publicly available sources, or someone else if you have authorised us to do so in writing. For example, you may provide us with the contact details of a support worker (if they are happy for you to do so) and authorise us to speak to that support worker about you and your matter.

If you are applying for pro bono legal assistance for someone else, you will need to get their written consent to provide their personal information to us and include that written consent in the application.

Use and disclosure of your personal information

We may use or disclose your personal information:

  • where you have expressly or impliedly consented to the use or disclosure;
  • to law firms and barristers that offer to provide pro bono legal services so that they can make sure they do not have a conflict of interest that would prevent them from assisting you;
  • to other organisations such as Legal Aid Queensland or other community organisations to determine your eligibility for other forms of assistance;
  • in confidence, to our legal advisers and insurers including for regular audits;
  • in confidence, to third parties who provide services to us; and
  • where the use or disclosure is authorised or required by or under an Australian law or court/tribunal order.

Employment and volunteer applications

When you apply for a paid or volunteer position at QPILCH, we will generally collect the personal information that you include in your application, such as your contact details, career history and education details.

We may also obtain your personal information from third parties, for example, from your previous employers or nominated referees. We collect personal information for the purpose of assessing your application. We will hold your personal information electronically on a restricted access drive and in hard copy so that we can consider you for future opportunities with us, unless you tell us not to.

Updates about our activities and fundraising events

We de-identify the personal information of all applicants and clients in all external publications such as our newsletters, submissions, reports and contributions to legal and other publications. If you are a volunteer lawyer, member, donor or fundraiser who has subscribed to our mailing list, we may contact you by email, phone or by post to let you know about our activities and fundraising events. You can contact us admin@qpilch.org.au at any time if you no longer wish to receive updates from us or from any of our services.

Storage and security of your information

We take all reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is protected from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

The personal information we collect is stored electronically in secure computer systems or in hard-copy files. QPILCH is required by law to retain your personal information for 7years after you have ceased your relationship with us. After such time has passed or if we otherwise determine that we no longer need information about you, we will securely destroy or de-identify your personal information.

Our computers are regularly updated to protect against viruses and our computer system is protected by passwords only known to employees and volunteers.

All QPILCH employees and volunteers are required, as part of their service, to treat any information held as highly confidential.

We use third party service providers to store and process some personal information. These may include Australian and overseas-based technology service providers and the use of servers within and outside Australia, including in the USA and Portugal.

Access to your personal information

You have a right to request access to your personal information and ask us to correct it. We encourage all requests for access to your personal information to be directed to us by email admin@qpilch.org.au or by writing to the address below.

We will respond to all requests for access to personal information within a reasonable time of you making the request and give you access to your personal information in the manner requested, unless it is unreasonable or impracticable for us to do so.

Sometimes we will be able to respond to your query over the phone, but sometimes we may need your request in writing and we might need some time to gather the requested information and get back to you. We may need more time to respond to requests for a large amount of information, or information which is not currently in use. We might need to send a copy of the information to you by post.

In some cases, we may be unable to give you access to your personal information.

If we refuse to give you access we will provide you with reasons for our refusal in writing. If we refuse you access, you can make a complaint about this by following the procedures in this privacy policy.

Keeping your information up-to-date

We try to ensure that the information we hold about you is accurate, complete, relevant and up-to-date. Generally, if you request us to do so we will amend any personal information we hold about you which is inaccurate, incomplete, irrelevant or out-of-date. Please help us to do this by letting us know if your details change or if we send you an email or letter that contains incorrect details.

If we are unable to correct your personal information, you may ask us to associate that information with a statement that the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, irrelevant or misleading, and we will take reasonable steps to associate this statement with your personal information.

Questions or complaints

If you would like more information about the way we manage personal information which we hold about you, or wish to make a complaint about how we have managed your personal information, please contact us:

  • by email: admin@qpilch.org.au;
  • by post: PO Box 3631 SOUTH BRISBANE BC QLD 4101; or
  • by fax: (07) 3846 6311.

We will try to respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

We take any privacy complaint seriously and will deal with your complaint fairly and promptly. However, if you are not satisfied with our response, or how we handled your complaint, you may complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:

Changes to our privacy policy

Our privacy policy is available on our website. From time to time, it may be necessary for us to review and revise our privacy policy. We reserve the right to change our privacy policy at any time.

Our privacy policy was last updated in September 2014. By continuing to use our websites or otherwise continuing to deal with us, you accept this privacy policy as it applies from time to time.

We will post all updates to our privacy policy on our website www.qpilch.org.au.