The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals and continues to advocate for consumer privacy rights.
There are occasions where CHF collects personal information, including sensitive health information, from individuals in order to fulfil its role as Australias peak health consumer representative body. In handling personal information, CHF complies with the National Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988.
Collection of personal information and health information
CHF collects personal information about its members, Governing Committee members, advocates, senior consumer representatives, consumer representatives, staff and potential staff, stakeholders and other individuals who from time to time contact CHF for advice or participate in CHF activities.
The information may include both personal information (such as name, contact details and membership data) and, in some cases, health information about an individual. For example, health information may be collected where the individual wishes to provide this to support an application for representation on a particular committee.
All personal information is collected with the consent of the individual, and where possible, directly from the individual themselves. At the time of collection individuals are informed about why the information is being collected, how it will be used and whom it may be passed on to.
At times, CHF may collect personal information from a source other than the individual (for example, when it is given to CHF by a third party). CHF will, as soon as practical after the time of collection, inform the individual that the information has been collected, how it will be used and whom it may be passed on to. If the information is not required, or the individual does not wish it to be retained, it will be removed from CHF records.
Use and disclosure of personal information
Personal information held by CHF will only be used or disclosed for the purpose it was originally collected or for a directly related secondary purpose if the person would reasonably expect this. For example, CHF may wish to contact an individual to seek feedback on a CHF activity they were involved in. Personal information will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes without the consent of the individual or unless required by law.
In addition, any disclosure of personal information to third parties (which may include for example government agencies that oversee a particular committee or contract staff) is subject to strict confidentiality agreements between CHF and the third party.
Security of information
CHF maintains hard copy files in a locked filing room and electronic data is password protected. The secure (members only) area on the website is also password protected. The CHF computer system is protected by a firewall to enhance security.
Personally identifiable information is collected if an individual chooses to provide this, for example, by responding via email to one of the contacts provided.
CHF does not pass on to any third parties personal information collected on its website without the consent of the individual or unless required by law.
Access to, update and correction of information held by CHF
Individuals are able to access personal information held about them and amend it if it is incorrect by making a request in writing to the Chief Executive Officer.
Further information on CHF privacy practices