Privacy Statement


The Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) has two privacy statements:

  1. An Overarching Privacy Statement about our collection and use of personal information; and
  2. A website and email interface specific privacy statement.


Overarching Privacy Statement


1.    Privacy Statement

This Statement describes how Consumer Action will collect and use your private and confidential information. Protecting your privacy and personal information is an important part of how we manage our services.

Your privacy is protected by laws, including the Information Privacy Principles (IPP’s) under Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APP’s) under the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. Privacy laws apply when we collect, use, disclose and dispose of your personal information. Personal information includes information that identifies you or could identify you, for example, your name, address or phone number, or identifying details from your financial or legal matter.

Our policies and processes for dealing with personal information are designed to comply with privacy laws, and with confidentiality rules that apply to lawyers and their clients.

2.    Our use of your personal information

a)    Primary Use

  • We will use your confidential or personal information to provide you with legal, financial counselling and related assistance in accordance with your instructions.
  • Your personal information will be stored in accordance with professional file management practices and procedures.
  • We will only share your confidential or personal information to the extent needed to act on your instructions and in a way that meets our professional obligations, or as required by law, or as described below (Other Uses).

b)    Other Uses

We might also use your confidential or personal information:

  • To prepare a written summary of your matter, for use in our policy, law reform and legal education activities. Consumer Action will only use your information in this manner with your consent, or if it is de-identified.
  • To gather statistics, evaluate our work and report externally about our services.
  • To review our files for risk management purposes, including review by other community legal centres.

You must tell us if you do not consent to these other uses.

3.    Additional privacy information

a)    Collection

Where practicable and reasonable, all personal information about you will be collected in private and will be collected directly from you. We collect your personal information to act on your instructions, and for the uses described in the section above (part 2).

b)    Security

We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information held by Consumer Action is protected from misuse, loss and from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.

Please tell us if you have any privacy or safety concerns about us leaving a message for you, especially if our message mentions Consumer Action, MoneyHelp (our financial counselling service), or your legal or financial problem. In particular, please tell us if you have any concerns about us leaving that type of message:

  • as a voice message on your land-line or mobile phone;
  • by text to your mobile phone;
  • with someone who answers your phone; or
  • by email.

This might be a risk for you, for example, if you have a gambling problem or financial difficulty that you do not want other household members to know about, or if you are experiencing domestic violence, or because your messages are not secure.

c)    Access and correction

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 request to gain access to and seek correction of personal information that Consumer Action holds about you. Consumer Action Law Centre will examine whether access can be given under IPP6, the access principle under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).

d)    Keeping your information

We will take reasonable steps to de-identify or destroy personal information once it is no longer needed. In practice, personal information contained in our hard copy files will be kept for at least seven years after we close your file, and our computer records may be kept for longer. We will return any of your original documents in our possession when your matter is finalised.

For legal reasons, we are unable to delete personal information you have provided to us for a period of at least 7 years from the date we close your file where the main purpose in collecting that information was to provide you with legal or financial counselling information, advice or assistance.  We may completely destroy any documents we create or hold on your behalf after 7 years from the date we close your file (for one off legal advices this is generally the same day as the advice is provided) in accordance with the law.  Please let us know if you want to obtain any documents you are entitled to.

e)    Your instructions

If you tell us that you do not want your personal information to be used for a particular purpose, we will generally agree to that request.

4.    Complaints

If you have any concerns about our use of your information, please discuss these with us. We will always try to resolve them with you.  You can contact us, make a complaint, or seek more details about this site or our privacy policies by:

  • Phoning Consumer Action on (03) 9670 5088; or
  • Writing to:

The Privacy Officer
Consumer Action Law Centre
Level 6, 179 Queen Street
Melbourne 3000

You can make an external privacy complaint about Consumer Action to the Privacy Commissioner on 1300 666 444, by sending an email to  or by visiting the Privacy Victoria website.

Dated: 14 July 2014



Website Specific Privacy Statement


1.    Our Overarching Privacy Statement

Please also see Consumer Action’s Overarching Privacy Statement.

2.    Accessing our websites

We operate two websites, the Consumer Action website and the MoneyHelp website.  The MoneyHelp website is set up for our financial counselling service.

You can access both homepages and browse both websites without disclosing your personal information. Consumer Action does not knowingly link to sites that are privacy-invasive, but you should note that our privacy policies do not apply to linked websites. When you link to another website, we recommend you read the privacy statement of that website to familiarise yourself with its privacy policy.

3.    Collection and use of personal data

The Consumer Action website does not collect or record personal information, other than information you choose to provide, for example, though our enquiries and email fields. Consumer Action staff use personal information collected from emails and enquiries in accordance with our Overarching Privacy Statement. Email addresses and any other contact details you provide to us will not be added to a mailing list without your consent.

4.    Disclosure

Consumer Action Law Centre will not disclose your personal information to a third party without your consent, unless required or authorised to do so by law or other regulation. In the event of an investigation into suspected unlawful or improper activity, a law enforcement agency or government agency may exercise its legal authority to inspect the web server’s records (for example, in relation to hacking or abusive messages).

5.    Collection and use of site visit data

We do not use cookies to collect personal information about your Internet Protocol (IP) address and browser/operating system information. More information about cookies is available on websites like Cookie Central.

The following non-personal information is automatically recorded by our website’s server for statistical and system administration purposes only:

  • the address of your server
  • the date and the time you visit the website
  • the pages you access and download
  • the address of the last website you visited
  • your operating system
  • the type of browser you are using.

To the extent that this data could make individuals identifiable, Consumer Action will not attempt to identify you unless necessary to investigate a breach of law or regulation.

6.    Transmission of personal information

The Consumer Action website does not provide security for the transmission of your personal information.

Consumer Action has a duty to deal with your personal information confidentially. However, you should be aware that there are risks in transmitting information across the Internet. If you are concerned about sending private material to Consumer Action over the Internet, you may prefer to contact us by phoning (03) 9670 5088.

You should be aware that if you leave us a message with us over the internet, and if you ask us to contact you back, our message to you might be seen by another person. See the warning at 3(b) of our Overarching Privacy Statement.


Dated: 14 July 2014