On December 21, 2001, the Privacy Act 1988 (“the Act”) was amended on 12 March 2014, to impose obligations on organisations and businesses within the private sector regulating the way in which they collect, use, store and communicate personal information.These new principles are called the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The APPs apply to the collection and use of personal information.
Churches collect personal information from members, attenders, people who receive counselling and many others. People expect that their personal information will be handled discreetly and responsibly. Although Churches are not bound by the act they should consider their ethical duties in respect to data collection and storage and ensure steps or processes are implemented to ensure that information is handled in a responsible manner.
The private sector amendments to the Act are intended to create a standard for the way that people’s information is handled. The Act does not impose strict or specific requirements, rather it requires that organisations consider their processes, develop a policy and address any inconsistencies or problems in the way that they handle information.
The Privacy Statement included herewith is a fairly comprehensive statement that covers most forms of data collection and how it will be treated and stored.