1. Client Information
A “client” is any person who has engaged Astra Psychology to deliver psychological services to them or who has requested psychological services from Astra Psychology.
The psychological service provided is bound by the legal requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth).
How Clients’ Personal Information is Collected
A client’s personal information is collected in a number of ways during psychological consultation with the psychologist, including when the client provides information directly to the psychologist using hardcopy forms, correspondence via email, when the client interacts directly with the psychologist’s employees such as the receptionist, and when other health practitioners provide personal information to the psychologist, via referrals, correspondence and medical reports.
Consequence of Not Providing Personal Information
Purpose of Holding Personal Information
A client’s personal information is gathered and used for the purpose of providing psychological services, which includes assessing, diagnosing, and treating a client’s presenting issue. The personal information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions, and enables the psychologist to provide a relevant and informed psychological service.
Disclosure of Personal Information
All personal information gathered by the psychologist during the provision of the psychological service will remain confidential except when:
- it is subpoenaed by a court, or disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law; or
- failure to disclose the information would in the reasonable belief of the psychologist place the client or another person at serious risk to life, health or safety; or
- the client’s prior approval has been obtained to
- provide a written report to another professional or agency. e.g., a GP or a lawyer; or
- discuss the material with another person, eg. a parent, employer, health provider or third party funder; or
- disclose the information in another way; or
- disclose to another professional or agency (e.g. the client’s GP) and disclosure of the client’s personal information to that third party is for a purpose which is directly related to the primary purpose for which the client’s personal information was collected.
A client’s personal information is not disclosed to overseas recipients, unless the client consents or such disclosure is otherwise required by law. Clients’ personal information will not be used, sold, rented or disclosed for any other purpose.
If unauthorised access, disclosure, or loss of a client’s personal information occurs the psychologist will activate its data breach plan and use all reasonable endeavours to minimise any risk of consequential serious harm.
Requests for Access to and Correction of Client Information
At any stage clients may request to see and correct the personal information about them kept on file. The psychologist may discuss the contents with them and/or give them a copy, subject to the exceptions in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). If satisfied that personal information is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete, reasonable steps will be taken in the circumstances to ensure that this information is corrected. All requests by clients for access to or correction of personal information held about them should be lodged with the psychologist. These requests will be responded to in writing within 10 working days, and an appointment will be made if necessary for clarification purposes.
Storage of Information
Personal information about clients is stored by the psychologist in a secure manner for a period of at least 7 years, or longer in the case of a client who was under the age of 18 years at the time of consultation. At the expiration of this period, all records will be destroyed in a controlled, safe, and secure manner, ensuring that the privacy of the client and their information is maintained.
If clients have a concern about the management of their personal information, they may inform the psychologist. Upon request they can obtain a copy of the Australian Privacy Principles, which describe their rights and how their personal information should be handled. Ultimately, if clients wish to lodge a formal complaint about the use of, disclosure of, or access to, their personal information, they may do so with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by phone on 1300 363 992, online at http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint or by post to:
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 2001.
2. Website Visitor Information
A “visitor” is any person who visits or logs into a website operated by Astra Psychology. It may but does not always include clients of Astra Psychology.
Use of Visitor Information
Astra Psychology uses data about how visitors use its website for the following purposes:
- To monitor the use of its website, portals, platforms, or forums; or
- To understand visitor behaviour or preferences. For example, Astra Psychology may use information about how visitors search for and find information to better understand the best ways to organise and present this information; or
- To identify the needs of visitors and to tailor its services to suit specific needs of visitors and others; or
- To contact visitors, with their consent, for sales and marketing purposes.
The Astra Psychology website uses Google Analytics, a service which transmits website traffic data to Google servers in the United States of America. Google Analytics does not identify individual users or associate visitors’ IP addresses with any other data held by Google. Astra Psychology uses reports provided by Google Analytics to help it understand website traffic and webpage usage.
Storing Visitor Information
Astra Psychology only retains information collected from its website for as long as necessary to provide each visitor with their requested service. Visitor information is protected within commercially acceptable means to prevent loss and theft, as well as unauthorised access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
Third party or Linked sites
Astra Psychology does not share any visitor’s information, including personally identifying information, publicly or with third-parties, except when:
- The visitor has consented to the disclosure to nominated people or organisations; or
- The information has been subpoenaed or a warrant for that disclosure has been served; or
- Disclosure is authorised or required by law; or
- Disclosure is necessary to mitigate risk of personal harm to any person including the visitor.
Visitors are free to refuse any request for their personal information, with the understanding that Astra Psychology may be unable to provide the visitor with their desired services.