Privacy Statement


The Data Manager of the Australian Q Fever Register (AusVet Animal Health Services Pty Ltd) is committed to the protection of your personal information.

This Privacy Statement governing the Australian Q Fever Register website includes:

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Register.

Operation of the Australian Q Fever Register

The operation of the Register is governed by:

  • The Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 which provides legislative support to a set of Information Privacy Principles, with which organisations must comply, and 
  • The Australian Standard AS4400: Personal privacy protection in health care information systems, which provides a voluntary standard for management and security of health-care information not covered specifically by legislation.

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Collection of personal information

The objective of the Register is to assist organisations to determine the Q Fever immune status of an individual, to prevent unnecessary testing, and to minimise the risk of exposing susceptible individuals to the organism in the workplace. All information collected by the Register is collected to achieve this objective, and is used only for this objective (see Use of Personal Information below).

Information about two groups are maintained by the Register:

Information about individuals

Information may only be collected from individuals and stored on the Register if that individual has completed, read and signed the Personal Details and Consent Form. The original of this form must be lodged with the Register and no copies retained by the user submitting the data, nor passed to any third parties.

The information about individuals on the Register includes:

  • Personal details to uniquely identify an individual (name, gender and date of birth)
  • Address to mail out Q Fever Register cards
  • Type of job
  • Q fever immune Status (date and result of screening or diagnostic tests (skin and blood tests) and date and batch number of vaccination) 

Information about organisations and users

In order to access the Register, an organisation must provide

  • Name of the organisation
  • Address
  • Type of organisation
  • Approximate size of the organisation

Users from within an organisation who access the Register must provide

  • Name
  • Contact details (phone and email)

In addition, the Register records information about user activity on the Register Web site, including which pages a user accesses, when they are accessed, and what data was submitted or requested.

Cookies

Cookies are pieces of information that a website can transfer to an individual's computer hard drive for record keeping. The Register uses Cookies to identify registered users as they move from page to page in the Register. A unique user ID is generated at log on and stored on the user’s computer. Each time a new page is accessed, this ID is returned to the website and checked to confirm that the user is authorised to access the data. When the user logs off or closes the page, the cookie is automatically removed from the user’s computer. The cookie contains no other information, and does not persist on the user’s computer between sessions.

Other information

The Register does not collect any personal information revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, or details of disability or sexual activity or orientation. 

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Use of personal information

Information collected by the Register is used only to achieve the stated objective of the Register. The way the information is used is described below.

Information about individuals

  • Personal details (name and date of birth) are used to identify individuals on the Register, so that when a person’s Q Fever status is queried, the user can be confident that the information is about the right person.
  • Address is used to mail out Q Fever Register cards
  • Information on the type of job is used to monitor the uptake of the Register in different types of at-risk industries.
  • Immune Status (date and result of screening or diagnostic tests and date and batch number for vaccination). This information is provided to users to help determine if an individual should be screened or if they are already immune and can enter an at-risk workplace without further testing.

Information about organisations and users

  • Name and address of the organisation are used to check that the organisation is entitled to access the Register, and for correspondence.
  • Type of organisation allows the Register to distinguish between meat processors, medical practices, or other users, each of which may require different forms of user support.
  • Approximate size of the organisation. This is used to assess the level of usage of the Register by different organisations. Organisations that use the Register much less than the average may be contacted to check if they need assistance or training in the use of the Register.
  • Name and contact details (phone and email) of users within an organisation are use to set up user accounts to access the Register. Users may be contacted if errors are detected within the Register or when required documentation has not been submitted to the Register within the required time periods.

User’s on-line activity is recorded for two reasons. The first is to analyse usage patterns by different organisations, in order to identify those who may be in need of further assistance in using the Register. The second is to provide full data auditing capability. User activity records can be used to determine who made what changes to the Register, and when. 

Other Uses

Information on the Register may only used to achieve the stated objectives of the Register, except in the following circumstances:

  • For research. Register data may be used for research into Q fever in response to specific requests by researchers. The information that may be released to researchers, and the conditions under which it may be released, are described in the next section "Disclosure of information".
  • Where there are reasonable grounds to believe that disclosure is necessary to prevent a threat to life or health.
  • The use is authorised by law or reasonably necessary to enforce the law. These uses may include situations where the Register is required to provide information in response to subpoenas or warrants or other legal processes. 

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Disclosure of information

The information collected by the Register is strictly confidential. The Register will not reveal, disclose, sell, distribute, rent, licence, share or pass that information on to any third parties, other than those who are contracted to keep the information confidential or are subject to a statute or binding scheme which imposes similar privacy restrictions regarding the handling of personal information. 

The Register may disclose the personal information for the specified purpose of the Register, under the following conditions.

  • Information about individuals on the Register can only be accessed by authorised users, who have been nominated by an eligible organisation (eg. meat processor or medical practice) and have been given a password to access the Register.
  • The registered user who submits a person's information to the Register (after receipt of a signed consent form) is automatically informed of the persons Q Fever Register Number, and is therefore able to check that information on the Register.
  • Users can only access information about an individual with that individual’s consent. In order to access information on an individual’s Q fever immune status, the user must enter:  the given name and family name, the date of birth, and  * the Q Fever Register Number.

  • The Q Fever Register Number is printed on the individual’s Q Fever Register Card, or can be obtained if the individual phones the Q Fever Register Help-Line in person. When an individual informs a user (medical practice or prospective or current employer) of their Q Fever Register Number, this will be interpreted as giving their consent for that user to access their information on the Register.

The information released by the Register under these conditions consists of the date and result of any tests performed, and the date of any vaccinations. 

Users are not able to access any personal information without the correct name, date of birth and Q Fever Register Number.

Address information held by the Register may not be revealed to anyone, except to address correspondence (including Q Fever Register Cards) to the individual from the Register.

Summary information on the contents of the Register are published on the website. This includes the total number of individuals on the Register, the proportion vaccinated, and a break down of Registrations by state. No information that may be used to identify an individual is released. This information is used to allow interested parties to monitor the use of the Register.

Exceptions to these rules disclosure rules include:

  • Research. De-identified information from the Register may be released to approved researchers, on the following conditions:
    • The research doesn't breech the privacy provisions of the Register, 
    • The research is approved by the Australian Q Fever Register Technical Management Committee, 
    • The research is approved by an appropriate ethics committee, 
    • A record of applications for research is maintained by the Technical Management Committee.

One of the criteria for approval by the Technical Management Committee will be the potential value of the research for the control of the disease and the protection of workers in high-risk industries. In addition, identified information (including name and address) may be released to approved researchers where the individual has indicated that they consent to being contacted for research purposes by marking the appropriate box on the Personal Details and Consent Form.

  • where there are reasonable grounds to believe that disclosure is necessary to prevent a threat to life or health.
  • the use is authorised by law or reasonably necessary to enforce the law. These uses may include situations where the Register is required to provide information in response to subpoenas or warrants or other legal processes. 

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Security of your information

The Register will take reasonable steps to ensure that all information the Register collects, uses or discloses is accurate, complete, up-to-date and stored in a secure environment accessed only by authorised persons. The Register operates a secure server to minimise the risk of unauthorised use of information. Information that is transmitted via the secure server is encrypted in accordance with the highest standards. 

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How to access, correct or update information

Individuals whose personal details have been entered on the Register have the right to access that information to check it for accuracy. They may also request that their details be removed from the Register, as long as such a request is received in writing. Individuals should contact the Q Fever Register Help-Line to check their details. Whenever data is submitted to the Register, a full copy of the information held will be sent to the individual concerned, who will have an opportunity to correct any errors. Changes to the Register data must be supported by appropriate documentation.

Similarly, organisations and users have the right to view and correct any information held on them by the Register.

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Other information about privacy 

Remember to log off the Register and close your browser when you have finished your user session. This is to ensure that others cannot access the Register if you share a computer with someone else. Users are responsible for the security of and access to their own computers and passwords.

Ultimately, users are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your username and passwords and any account information. Please be careful and responsible whenever you are using the Internet.

For further Privacy information, please refer to The Australian Privacy Commissioner’s Web Site.

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