The policy supports GMT’s need to collect information and the right of the individual to privacy. It ensures that GMT can collect personal and health information necessary for its services and functions, while recognising the right of individuals to have their information handled in ways that they would reasonably expect and in ways that protect the privacy of their personal and health information.
Personal and health information is collected and used by GMT for the following purposes:
- to provide services or to carry out the function of transporting clients to medical appointments
- to assist GMT and its members to fulfil their duty of care
- to plan, fund, monitor and evaluate services and functions
GMT has adopted the Australian Privacy Principles (APP) in the Privacy Act 1988 to set the minimum standards for handling personal information.
In broad terms, this means that GMT will:
- collect only information which is required for the specified primary purpose
- ensure that the person supplying the information knows why the information is collected and how it will be handled
- use and disclose it only for the primary or a directly related purpose, or for another purpose with the person’s consent (unless otherwise required, permitted or authorised by law)
- store it securely, protecting it from unauthorised access and retain it for the period authorised by the Queensland Public Records Act 2002, and take reasonable steps to permanently de-identify personal or health information when it is no longer needed
- provide people with access to their own personal information and permit people to seek corrections if necessary. This will usually be handled under the Australian Freedom of Information Act 1982.
GMT in collecting personal and health information will:
- address the privacy issues relevant to their functions and only collect and use this information in accordance with the privacy principles
- manage this information according to privacy policies created for the area of service GMT provides in accordance with the privacy principles.
GMT in using personal and health information but do not directly collect personal and health information will apply the privacy principles when handling personal and health information.
GMT will usually only use or disclose an individual’s personal or health information for research or the compilation of statistics with the individual’s consent. When research or the compilation of statistics which is in the public interest cannot be undertaken with de-identified information, and where it is impractical to seek the individual’s consent, the research or compilation of statistics will be carried out in accordance with guidelines in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) issued by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and in accordance with the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992.
A complaint about information privacy is an expression of dissatisfaction with GMT procedures, staff, agents or quality of service associated with the collection or handling of personal or health information. GMT will be efficient and fair when investigating and responding to information privacy complaints.
The process for investigation and response to these complaints is set out in GMT’s Complaint Reporting GMT004 procedure.
The key Australian Privacy Principles (APP) are listed here. Only the key principles have been selected and are provided in summary. The full exceptions qualifying many of the principles are not included.
GMT must collect only personal and health information that is necessary for performance or functions. Individuals should be told why this information is required, what it will be used for and that they can gain access to their personal and health information.
Use and disclosure
GMT must only use or disclose personal and health information:
- for the primary purpose for which it was collected
- for a related secondary purpose (which must be a directly related purpose in the case of health or sensitive information) that the person would reasonably expect
- with the consent of the person
- unless otherwise required, permitted or authorised by law principles
GMT must make sure personal and health information is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
GMT must take reasonable steps to protect personal and health information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
GMT must document clearly expressed policies on management of personal and health information and make these policies available to anyone who asks for them.
Access and correction
Individuals have a right to seek access to their personal and health information and make corrections.
A unique identifier is usually a number assigned to an individual in order to identify the person for the purposes of an organisation’s operations. Tax File Numbers and Medicare numbers are examples. Unique identifiers can facilitate data matching. Data matching can diminish privacy. Privacy laws limit the adoption and sharing of unique numbers. GMT will limit the use of unique identifiers as required by the Australian Privacy Act 1988 privacy laws.
When lawful and practicable, individuals should be able to remain anonymous in transactions with services.
Transborder data flows
Transfer of personal and health information outside Queensland is restricted by privacy laws. Personal and health information may be transferred only if the recipient protects privacy under standards similar to Australian Privacy Principles (APP).
The Queensland Information Privacy Act 2009 restricts collection of sensitive information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political views, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, membership of groups or criminal record. GMT will apply Australian Privacy Principles (APP) when collecting and handling sensitive information.