Commitment to your privacy
- not collect personal information unless we consider it necessary for us to provide services
- not use or disclose personal information about an individual for a purpose other than:
- the purpose for which it was collected
- a related purpose (or, in the case of sensitive information, a “directly related” purpose) which the individual would reasonably expect
- a purpose required or permitted by law
- a purpose for which we have obtained the consent of the individual
- take all reasonable steps to make sure that the personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate and up to date
- take all reasonable steps to protect and safeguard the personal information we collect
- make available our policies on our management of personal information
- provide individuals with access to their personal information that we hold, except where we are required or entitled by law to refuse access
When do we collect personal information?
We will only collect personal information if it is necessary for us to do so. Situations in which we may collect personal information include, but are not limited to:
- when processing membership application forms and any subsequent amendments to members’ details
- when dealing with any request or application for products or services
- in connection with suppliers in respect of services and/or products that may be supplied to members or other individuals
- when presenting seminars, conducting workshops or other functions
- when dealing with certain government agencies
- when required by law
- when dealing with individuals who contact us regarding our activities or the activities of our members
Personal information may include sensitive information as defined in the Privacy Act 1988 (for example, religious beliefs, health status, ethnic origins, membership of a trade or professional association). If so, then we will apply the National Privacy Principles, and from March 2014, the Australian Privacy Principles, required to that type of information.
Ways in which we collect personal information
We collect personal information in person, in writing, by telephone, through our website and through other methods of communication with our members and other individuals we deal with.
Our members provide personal information to us when they apply for or renew membership.
Sometimes we may need to collect personal information from third parties in relation to membership applications or renewals, in the course of carrying out our responsibilities, ensuring that information that we have been given is correct.
These third parties may include:
- members’ employers
- the Legal Practice Board
- Law Mutual (WA)
- statutory bodies and other government agencies and instrumentalities
In each case, we will treat personal information we collect in accordance with the principles set out above.
What do we use personal information for?
We use personal information to maintain membership records, provide information and enable members and other individuals to receive the services and benefits available to members of the Law Society (provided by the Law Society and/or the Law Council of Australia) and to conduct research in order to identify and analyse the ongoing needs of members. In addition, to satisfy regulatory requirements, we use personal information to carry out administrative tasks and manage our members’ and other individuals’ rights and obligations in relation to external obligations and statutory obligations as required.
Disclosure of personal information to third parties
We may disclose your personal information to third parties. These may include our agents, our contractors (including organisations used by us, such as cloud data storage contractors, to store information in an electronic format), insurers, advisors, your agents, your contractors, members’ employers and other entities, including Law Mutual (WA), which it is reasonable to expect that information would be provided in the course of or incidental to the provision of products and/or services by us. We also may disclose personal information regarding our members to the Law Council of Australia to enable the Law Council to provide its products and/or services to our members.
We will only do so in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and our policy.
When we collect personal information
We will take reasonable steps at or before the time we collect personal information from an individual, to ensure that individual is aware of:
- who we are and our full contact details
- the fact that person is able to gain access to the personal information that we collect and seek the correction of such information
- the purposes for which the personal information is collected
- the organisations (or types of organisations) we will usually disclose or transfer that personal information to
- whether it is likely that we will disclose information to overseas recipients and if so, where
- any law which requires us to collect the personal information
- the main consequences (if any) if all (or part) of the personal information requested by us is not provided
However, there are circumstances where we are not required to do so.
Access to your personal information
Requests for access to your personal information should be made in writing to our privacy officer.
If you request, then in most circumstances we will make available to you the personal information about you that we have collected. In certain circumstances we might not allow you access to your personal information. These circumstances include, where:
- it would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others
- the information relates to legal proceedings with you
- the information would reveal our commercially sensitive decision-making process
- providing access to the information would prejudice certain investigations
- we are required by law not to disclose the information. This includes duties we may have under common law
We will respond to a request for access to information as a priority and will seek to do so within a maximum of 10 days.
We will not charge you for requesting access to your own personal information.
What to do if you believe the information we hold about you is inaccurate
If you believe that any information that we hold about you is inaccurate or out of date, please contact us and we will review and update the relevant information.
We encourage our members to access and update personal membership information should they believe it to be incorrect. If members wish to do so, please visit the Update Your Details page on our member’s dashboard. (Note: Members must log in with their membership details to access this page.)
If you are dissatisfied with the manner in which we use your personal information
We want always to improve our systems and procedures to give you full confidence in our ability to respect and safeguard the privacy of the personal information you provide to us. If we have not fulfilled our commitment to you, please tell us by contacting our privacy officer.
The Privacy Officer
The Law Society of Western Australia
Level 4, 160 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
Tel: (08) 9324 8600 Fax: (08) 9324 8699