Privacy principles, data collection and media regulation
There is no general right of privacy in Australia. The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) regulates the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information by some businesses and government agencies.
Region Media is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (or APPs), which are the cornerstone of the privacy protection framework in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).
The 13 Australian Privacy Principles and govern standards, rights and obligations around:
- the collection, use and disclosure of personal information
- an organisation or agency’s governance and accountability
- integrity and ability to correct personal information
- the rights of individuals to access their personal information
The Australian Privacy Principles are technology-neutral, principles-based law.
A breach of an Australian Privacy Principle is an ‘interference with the privacy of an individual’ and can lead to regulatory action and penalties.
Data use and processing
Region Media collects data for the purposes of enhancing and personalising the user experience and facilitating community engagement.
Data collection is an essential tool to create a vibrant, personally relevant, locally focussed space for vigorous and accessible community discussions.
What is considered personal data?
This is any information that can personally identify you and may include (but is not limited to) your name, age, gender, postcode and contact details including phone numbers and email addresses, and any financial details including credit card, direct debit or paypal.
What information may we collect?
Your name; address; email; telephone number(s); age and/or birth date; occupation or job title; products and services you have enquired about or purchased and the information necessary to provides those products or services; information about you included in consumer surveys; any other identifying information collected in the normal course of providing editorial or business services.
How we collect personal information
Most information is collected directly from you through website, social media or app usage including messages sent to us directly or by someone who has provided information to us in the ordinary course of our business and editorial operations.
This information may also come to us from third parties including credit reporting agencies; law enforcement; other government entities; advertisers, mailing lists; recruitment agencies; contractors and business partners.
Information you publish on publicly available social media may also be collected by us in the course of normal operations.
Anonymous data may also be collected to analyse trends and statistics and diagnose problems. This material contains no personally identifiable content and can therefore be used in any manner we choose. It is not covered by the Australian Privacy Principles.
Our website may contain links to other websites operated by third parties. Region Media bears no responsibility for content on these sites.
Why do we collect personal information?
We use and disclose your personal data for the purposes for which it has been collected, or other purposes you may consent to. This consent may be implied by the means of collection. If you would reasonably expect your data to be used or disclosed for another purpose as a result, we may do so.
Data collection enables us to streamline the log-on process by recognising users and simplifying regular access to our sites across our platforms.
Data informs the creation of personalised content that is tailored for individual consumption. Content can be personally matched to both user interest and geographic locations.
Region Media strives to enable citizen journalism. Data collection allows us to interact with our users and assist them to create content that strengthens our local news offering.
Data collection enables us to identify and manage problematic content that may distress or offend our readers. For the same reason, data collection is essential to protect our company from defamation risks and enhances our moderation capacity.
We may also use data to provide and manage products and services; to communicate with you directly; to conduct competitions; to verify your identity; to investigate complaints; to conduct quality control and research.
Your personally identifiable data will not be sold, shared, rented or disclosed in any other fashion. If we do not collect your data, we may be unable to provide some services or products, or tailor our content for you.
How is your personal information disclosed ?
In the ordinary course of our business, we may disclose legitimately collected information to our employees, partners, contractors or external service providers to fulfil requests from you or provide services. We may also disclose this information to police or relevant law enforcement bodies, your Internet Service Provider or network administrator if we have reason to suspect our terms have been breached or you have been engaged in any unlawful activity.
This disclosure may extend to overseas partners including data hosting and service providers. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure these partners do not breach their privacy obligations regarding your data.
We will take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information from loss, theft, or unauthorised access.
Managing your personal information
You can manage the personal information you have provided to us by logging into your Region Media account and choosing Manage my Profile.
To delete your account, and to remove all your saved account information visit the delete account section of your profile page and follow the prompts. You can also contact us via our online form. Please include your current username and or registered email account as a reference.
Rights regarding photography
There are no publicity or personality rights in Australian law and there is no right to privacy that protects a person’s image. In normal circumstances, a person’s consent is not required for their photo to be taken or their image to be recorded in public.
In some specific circumstances a person’s image could be regarded as ‘personal information’ and images may be regarded as defamatory or an infringement on copyright.
Photographs cannot be published if:
- the publication of the photograph of a person is a specific breach of the Privacy Act;
- if the photographs of person were obtained as the result of the photographer trespassing on private land
- if the taking of the photograph results in the breach of a duty, such as a duty to keep information confidential.
A landowner has the right to impose restrictions on photography, including museums, galleries and sporting grounds, and land owned by local government, educational institutions (both government and non-government schools), child-care services, hospitals and nursing homes. Permission should be sought in these settings.
Police have no specific powers to stop the media from taking photographs of them or of crime scenes as long as the media stays outside of the crime scene itself and obeys all lawful directions from police officers.
Print news media (and associated online activities) have self-regulatory standards of practice. The Australian Press Council ‘is the principal body with responsibility for responding to complaints about Australian newspapers, magazines and associated digital outlets’.
Print media and their online outlets may also adopt their own codes of conduct with regard to privacy. You can find Region Media’s editorial standards here.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety Office) is supported and empowered under the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 (Online Safety Act) and schedules 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act A. The schedules constitute the Online Content Scheme, which draws on principles in the National Classification Code to regulate prohibited online content.
The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, provides a mechanism to report online crimes and abuse to law enforcement, including prohibited online content and cyberbullying.
However, internet platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, do not currently require any type of licence and, hence, are almost entirely unregulated under the BSA Act.