SBA Law (‘SBA’) is a leading Australian-based law firm. SBA recognises that your personal information is important to you and is committed to managing and protecting personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles (‘APPs’) under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (‘Privacy Act’) and in accordance with other applicable privacy laws.
In summary, personal information is information or an opinion (whether true or not) about an identified, or reasonably identifiable, individual.
1. What information does SBA collect about you?
1.1 Personal Information
(a) We collect personal information which is necessary for the conduct of our business, to assess and manage our clients’ and prospective clients’ needs, to market our services, to meet our legal obligations and to provide legal and associated services. The purpose for which SBA usually collects and uses personal information depends on the nature of your interaction with us.
(b) We may collect personal information in relation to:
(i) Clients and prospective clients
(A) When you enquire about our services or when you become a client of SBA, a record is made which includes your personal information. The type of personal information that we collect will vary depending on the circumstances of collection and the kind of service that you request from us, but will typically include:
(1) your name, title, e-mail, postal address and other contact details;
(2) communications between us;
(3) information about your dealings with us or any of our clients;
(4) your professional details; and
(5) any additional personal information you provide to us, or authorise us to collect, as part of your relationship or interactions with SBA.
(B) To the extent that it is relevant to the work we are undertaking for you or our general relationship with you as a client, we may also collect and hold personal information about you that is sensitive information under the Privacy Act.
(ii) Prospective employees or applicants
(A) We collect personal information when recruiting personnel, such as your name, contact details, qualifications and work history, information contained in resumes, academic and other transcripts, and information collected during the interview or assessment process. Generally, we will collect this information directly from you.
(B) We may also collect personal information from third parties in ways which you would expect (for example, from recruitment agencies or referees you have nominated).
(C) Before offering you a position, we may collect additional details such as your tax file number and superannuation information and other information necessary to conduct background checks to determine your suitability for certain positions.
(D) We may also collect sensitive information contained within the sources set out above, such as membership of a political, professional or trade association or trade union, criminal records and health information.
(iii) Other individuals
(A) SBA may collect personal information about other individuals who are not clients of SBA. This includes visitors to our office, individual service providers and contractors to SBA and their personnel, business associates and their personnel, and other individuals who interact with SBA on a commercial basis. The kinds of personal information we collect will depend on the capacity in which you are dealing with SBA. Generally, it would include your name, contact details, and information regarding our interactions and transactions with you. We may also collect details of your performance under any contract and personal information required to make payments, such as bank details. We may seek references from your other customers.
(B) You can always decline to give SBA any personal information we request, but that may mean we cannot provide you with some or all of the services you have requested or otherwise engage in or complete our dealings with you. If you have any concerns about personal information we have requested, please let us know.
(iv) Visitors to our website The way in which we handle the personal information of visitors to our website is discussed below.
1.2 Sensitive information
(a) Sensitive information includes any information about a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record, health information and certain genetic or biometric information.
(b) We will not ask you to disclose sensitive information unless it is necessary for providing our services to you, recruitment of personnel or it is otherwise necessary in the circumstances. However, if you elect to provide unsolicited sensitive information, it may be captured and stored if it is reasonably necessary for our functions or activities (or if otherwise permitted by law).
1.3 Credit information
In the course of providing legal services, we may collect and hold credit information. The type of credit information that we hold may include details of your liabilities in respect of consumer credit, default information, and information about court proceedings. If we collect or hold credit information we do so to assist in the management of the credit. You may access any credit information that we hold about you, seek correction of this information, or enquire about how we have used your credit information by using the contact details below.
1.4 Non-personal information
We may also collect and process non-personal information provided to us by your browser when you visit our website or use our applications, for example, information about your computer (e.g. IP address, browser, operating system etc.) for system administration purposes.
2. How does SBA collect your personal information?
2.1 SBA generally collects personal information directly from you, or the organisation of which you are an employee, director or principal. We may collect and update your personal information over the phone, by email, in written correspondence, over the internet or in person.
2.2 We may also collect personal information about you from other sources, for example our clients, government agencies, law enforcement bodies, your business associates, business counterparties, search agencies, service providers, recruitment agencies, your employer, parties to whom you refer us, or from publicly available resources (such as court or tribunal records, public registries, social media and online searches).
3. How does SBA interact with you via the internet?
3.2 Sometimes our website contains links to other websites, for your convenience and information. When you access a website other than www.sbalaw.com, please understand that SBA is not responsible for the privacy practices of that site. We suggest that you review the privacy policies of each site you visit.
4. How does SBA hold information?
4.1 SBA stores information in paper-based files or other electronic record keeping methods in secure databases (including trusted third party storage providers based in Australia and overseas). Personal information may be collected in paper-based documents and converted to electronic form for use or storage (with the original paper-based documents either archived or destroyed). We take reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, interference and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
4.2 SBA maintains physical security over paper and electronic data stores, such as through locks and security systems. We also maintain computer and network security, for example, we use firewalls (security measures for the internet) and other security systems such as user identifiers and passwords to control access to our computer systems.
4.3 Staff with access to such information are subject to obligations of confidentiality.
4.4 Our third party data storage providers are required to protect personal information in accordance with applicable laws and take appropriate technical and organisation measures against unauthorised or unlawful use of personal information or its accidental loss, destruction or damage.
4.5 Subject to our legal obligations, we take steps to destroy or de-identify information that we no longer require.
5. Collection of personal information from the SBA website
5.1 You may voluntarily disclose personal information to us when using the SBA website. Our server may record details including your name, address, email address, IP address, information regarding what pages you access on our website and when, information you put into forms on our website at any time, details of your visits to our website and the resources you use, information about your computer (e.g. browser and operating system) for statistical, reporting, website administration and maintenance purposes. We will not try to identify users or their browsing activities except as necessary to investigate or report any suspected unlawful activity, as required or authorised by law or as reasonably necessary for the activity of an enforcement body.
5.2 Our website has implemented standard encryption or other technologies for the secure transmission of information via the internet through a third-party hosted platform. We take reasonable steps to ensure the security of your personal information however the users of our website are encouraged to exercise care in sending personal information via the internet. In particular, enquiries sent through our website may not be secure, and an individual should take special care in deciding what information to send to SBA via online enquiries. Other than liability that cannot lawfully be excluded, SBA will not be liable in any way in relation to any breach of security or any unintended loss or disclosure of that information.
7. For what purposes does SBA use and disclose personal information?
7.1 Generally, we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for the purposes for which it was collected, related purposes, any purpose for which you have provided your consent, and for purposes otherwise permitted or required by law.
7.2 Clients and prospective clients
The primary purpose for which we may use and disclose personal information is to provide legal and associated services to our clients, and to maintain, manage and develop our relationship with our clients and prospective clients.
7.3 Disclosure to contractors and other service providers
SBA may disclose information to third parties we engage in order to provide our services, including other professional services firms, barristers, surveyors, forensic and expert witnesses, mediators, valuers, and service providers used for information technology services and support, website maintenance/development, searches (e.g. title, court and public register searches), courier services, recruitment, printing and archiving.
7.4 Use and disclosure for administration and management
SBA will also use and disclose personal information for a range of administrative, management and operational purposes. This includes:
(a) administering billing and payments and debt recovery;
(b) planning, managing and monitoring our services;
(c) risk management and management of legal liabilities and claims (for example, liaising with insurers);
(d) responding to enquiries and complaints regarding our services;
(e) obtaining advice from consultants and other professional advisers;
(f) assessing and considering applications from prospective employees, contractors and service providers;
(g) complying with our legal and regulatory obligations; and
(h) responding to subpoenas.
7.5 Other uses and disclosures
8. Does SBA disclose your personal information overseas?
8.1 We may disclose personal information to external service providers located overseas (including the United States of America) so that they can provide us with services in connection with the operation of our business, such as data storage or document sharing.
8.2 If you apply to us for employment, and have lived or worked overseas, we may disclose your personal information to overseas recipients for the purposes of gathering information to assess your application. If you have previously worked for us, and provide our details to a prospective employer or recruitment agency located overseas, we may disclose your personal information to that entity to assist them to assess your application.
8.4 We may also transfer personal information to overseas recipients in the form of contact details about clients who agree to act as our referees for the purposes of our participation in foreign legal directories.
9. Direct marketing
From time to time we may use your personal information to provide you with current information about legal issues or events that you may find of interest. If you do not wish to receive marketing information, you may at any time decline to receive such information contacting us via the contact details below, or if the direct marketing is by email you may also use the unsubscribe function in the email message.
10. How can you access or seek correction of your personal information?
10.1 You are entitled to access your personal information held by SBA on request. To request access to your personal information please contact us using the contact details set out below.
10.2 You will not be charged for making a request to access your personal information but you may be charged for the reasonable time and expense incurred in compiling information in response to your request.
10.3 We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. You can help us to do this by letting us know if you notice errors or discrepancies in information we hold about you and letting us know if your personal details change.
10.4 However, if you consider any personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading you are entitled to request correction of the information. After receiving a request from you, we will take reasonable steps to correct your information.
10.5 We may decline your request to access or correct your personal information in certain circumstances in accordance with the APPs. If we do refuse your request, we will provide you with a reason for our decision.
11. What should you do if you have a complaint about the handling of your personal information?
11.2 You may make a complaint about privacy to us at the contact details set out below.
11.3 We will respond to complaints within a reasonable period of time (usually 30 days).
11.4 If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, a complaint may be made to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner can be contacted by telephone on 1300 363 992 or by using the contact details on the website www.oaic.gov.au.
13. How can you contact SBA?
Post:Attention: Privacy Officer
535 Bourke Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Telephone:+61 3 9614 7000