Home page Privacy

Your privacy

Our obligations under the Privacy Act

This privacy policy sets out how we comply with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). As an Australian Government agency, we are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act which regulate how organisations and government agencies may collect, use, disclose and store personal information, and how individuals may access and correct personal information held about them.

In this privacy policy, 'personal information' has the same meaning as defined by section 6 of the Privacy Act:

Information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.

The Privacy Act also defines ‘sensitive information’, which includes (in summary):

information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; membership of a political association; religious beliefs or affiliations; philosophical beliefs; membership of a professional or trade association; membership of a trade union; sexual orientation or practices; or criminal record; health information about an individual; or other genetic or biometric information.

Collection of personal information

We may collect personal information about you such as your name, contact details, gender, date of birth, etc. We may also collect sensitive information about you including whether you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin or, such as for particular research projects, health information. It is your choice whether to provide information to AIATSIS. You can choose not to identify yourself or use a pseudonym, unless it is unlawful or impractical.

It is our usual practice to collect personal information directly from the individual or their authorised representative.

Sometimes we collect personal information from a third party or a publicly available source, but only if the individual has consented to such collection or would reasonably expect us to collect their personal information in this way, or if it is necessary for a specific purpose such as the investigation of a privacy complaint.

In limited circumstances we may receive personal information about third parties from individuals who contact us and supply us with the personal information of others in the documents they provide to us.

We only collect personal information for purposes which are directly related to our functions or activities under the Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act 1982(Cth) (FOI Act) or the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989(Cth), and only when it is necessary for or directly related to such purposes. We also collect personal information related to employment services, human resource management, and other corporate service functions. These purposes are listed below, with links to where you can find more detail in Part B.

We understand that the term 'Indigenous' does not capture the diversity and complexity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures. When we use the term Indigenous we do so recognising and acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first people of Australia and the Traditional Owners of this land and its waters. We pay our respects to Elders, knowledge holders and leaders both past and present. AIATSIS strives to use terms that are respectful, inclusive and accurate. We do however appreciate feedback if you believe our language could be improved.