As a statutory authority, we must comply with the requirements of the Information Privacy Act 2009, which is designed to provide safeguards for the handling of individuals’ personal information in the public sector environment. Personal information is information that can be used to identify an individual.
The Act provides guidance on the collection, storage, management, use and disclosure of personal information.
Collection of personal information
- We can only collect personal information for a lawful purpose directly related to QUT’s functions and activities.
- We must not collect information in a way that is unfair or unlawful.
- The collection of information must not intrude unreasonably on the personal affairs of the individuals concerned.
- When we collect information, we must provide individuals with a privacy notice that tells them:
- the purpose of collecting the information
- whether the information is required or authorised by law
- any person, body or agency the information is routinely disclosed to.
Storage and security of personal information
We must ensure that the information we hold is protected by reasonable security safeguards against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or any other misuse.
If we give personal information to others in the course of an activity or function, we must take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised use or disclosure of the information.
Access to personal information and the right to amend it
We are required to provide our staff and students access to the personal information we hold about them, except when it’s not permitted by law. We must also allow individuals to request alterations to any information about them that is inaccurate, irrelevant, out-of-date, incomplete misleading.
Use and disclosure of personal information
Our privacy principles ensure that personal information about our staff and students is not disclosed outside QUT. Although under reasonable circumstances, the use or disclosure of personal information may be necessary for:
- law enforcement, including intelligence gathering and investigation of improper conduct
- revenue protection, including enquiries by the Australian Taxation Office and similar agencies
- court proceedings, including the preparation, conduct and implementation of proceedings of a court or tribunal
- purposes relating to deceased staff and students.
We also take steps to ensure that personal information we hold is accurate and up-to-date, and is only used or disclosed:
- for a directly related purpose to the reason it was collected, unless you have expressed your agreement otherwise
- once we’ve advised you in a privacy notice of our intentions, and that we are acting in line with our routine practice
- if it is necessary for research or analysis of statistics for the public interest, and does not specifically identify individuals
- for a commercial purpose that involves marketing to the individual, but it is impractical to obtain the individual’s agreement.
Our response to information use and disclosure requests
Our staff follow specific procedures in response to requests for personal information about our staff and students, and are required to maintain detailed information relating to requests in disclosure logs.
Information kept in disclosure logs may be made available for audits or Right to Information applications, but is not made available to staff who routinely access the records for standard administrative purposes.
Law enforcement requests
All requests for personal information about our staff and students by law enforcement officials must be directed to the Security Manager, or if unavailable, Security’s Central Monitoring Station Operator.
Revenue protection requests
Requests from revenue protection agencies outside standard reporting arrangements must be directed to:
- Director, Student Business Services, for student information requests
- Director, Human Resources Department, for staff information requests.
Requests made through court documents
Requests to release personal information as stated in a court document must be directed to:
- Registrar’s Office, when QUT is not named as a party to the court proceedings in a notice of non-party disclosure, subpoenas or similar
- Legal Officer, when QUT is named as a party to the proceedings as a defendant or respondent.
Court documents must be signed and sealed by a court registrar and issued under the rules of the court.
Deceased staff and student information requests
Requests for personal information about deceased staff and students must be directed to the Privacy Officer, who manages requests in line with Right to Information legislation.
Use of photographic images and video recordings
We use photos and video recordings of staff, students, university visitors and members of the public for marketing, publicity and media liaison purposes and other corporate communications. Photos and videos used for these purposes are commonly made available nationally and internationally via our website and publications.
Because individual people can be identified in photos and videos, they are considered to be personal information and we must ensure that our use of images and videos is consistent with our privacy obligations.
For photos and videos where individual people can be clearly identified, we need to obtain your written consent to use your image on our website, in any of our publications, presentations and marketing displays. To gain your written consent, we’ll ask you to complete a consent form. If you don’t give consent we won’t use the image or video. We are required to keep consent forms for 7 years from the last action stated on the form.
To use images of children who are school age or younger (for example, for use in promotional material for the Faculty of Education) we must obtain parental consent.
While QUT students may be minors at the time of first enrolment, we interact directly students rather than through parents or guardians. Therefore photographers are not required to enquire about the age of our students when obtaining consent from them.
QUT functions or events
At large QUT functions or events like graduation ceremonies, it may not be practical to obtain consent from individuals, even where they are clearly identifiable in the image. In these limited circumstances only, consent may be implied. However, if you indicate, either at the function or at a later time, that you do not give consent for your image to be used in QUT publications or communications, we will not use the photo or video.
Professional models and actors
We are not required to obtain consent for using images or videos featuring professionals who we hold paid, contractual agreements with for promotional purposes.
There may be some copyright implications relating to the use of photos or video recordings of performances. You can contact our Copyright Officer [link] for more information about our use of recordings that constitute performances. However, if recordings of performances are produced purely for marketing and communication purposes, we are required to obtain consent.
Teaching and research
For the use of images or videos for teaching and research purposes, we provide a privacy notice instead of asking you to complete the consent form.
We also address the use of images and video recordings relating to research in ethical clearance processes for research projects.
Contracting out of photography services
When we use external photographers or audiovisual producers we ensure appropriate contractual or service provision arrangements are in place to meet our privacy obligations. We also address copyright issues and licensed use of images when work is commissioned.