Privacy FAQs

What is Personal Information?

Personal information is a broad category of information and is constantly evolving through changes in technology and changes in law.  Without creating a very long list, the best way to summarise personal information is any information which identifies a person or can reasonably identify a person.  This can include in some circumstances unique identifiers.

How does UWA manage personal information?

UWA like all Institutions is on a journey in relation to managing personal information which changes constantly with technology, legal and working practice changes.

UWA has a Privacy program, which will see the implementation of privacy controls relating to personal information such as a policy, standard and processes and procedures.  Training will be introduced for all Staff, and specialist training for those areas of UWA which deal with large quantities of personal information.

UWA is also creating a Privacy Office, which will coordinate this plan and be a single point of contact for all enquiries, concerns or complaints relating to personal information.

How long do you retain my personal information for after I leave UWA?

We retain your personal information for a long as is required for the purpose it was collected, and in accordance with our obligations under the State Records Act 2000 (WA).  This may mean in some cases we are obliged to retain your personal information for a longer period than would be expected.

Can I find out what personal information is held about me?

Yes you can. In the first instance we would suggest to contact the relevant function within UWA and simply request access to a copy of your personal information. If there are reasons why this cannot be managed administratively you will be advised of the reason why and how, if you wish, to take the matter further to the UWA Privacy Office. In certain circumstances you may be required to put in a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA).

How do I go about correcting personal information you hold about me?

In the first instance you should contact the relevant function within UWA who holds the personal information and request the necessary corrections.  If this is not possible and you do not accept the reasons given you can lodge a request with the UWA Privacy Office.

What can I do if I have concerns or a complaint about the management of my personal information?

In this case you should contact the UWA Privacy Office with the details of your concerns or complaint.

Does the University use geolocation information to track people?

No.  In some instances geolocation information is obtained from devices such as smartphones and laptops/tablets when they interact with University IT services such as UniFi.  However this information is not used to track individuals.  It may be used in an aggregated or de-identified form to analyse traffic patterns, space usage or allocation.  This information is managed as personal information in accordance with the University’s Information Privacy policy.

What about location services I receive when on Campus?

If you subscribe to services which are dependent on location based services then the University will seek to notify you at the point of subscription and obtain your opt in for these services.  If you choose to not opt in, or turn off the location services on your device your quality of services received will be degraded and may not be possible.

Is my personal information used for Business Intelligence and Analytics?

Yes.  The University is in a highly competitive service industry, and needs to analyse data relating to the services it provides, how it provides them, how successful they are, and to who they are delivered and utilised by.  This information is essential to the University in assisting it in making strategic and difficult decisions.  This analysis is a key to safeguarding and transforming the University’s future.

Where possible this data is aggregated or de-identified so that individuals cannot be identified within the data.  Where this is not possible then it will be depersonalised as much as is possible without rendering the data useless for this purpose.

Our Information Privacy Policy is clear that this is a use of the personal data we collect.

Do you share or disclose my personal information?

Yes we may do.  UWA is required under a number of differing situations to share or disclose personal information, some as part of a legal obligation and some discretionary to support the services it provides to students, staff and the community.

UWA will where possible de-identify, depersonalise or minimise this information as far as it can. Such information is only shared in accordance with our Information Privacy Policy and following an assessment.

More specific circumstances and examples can be found in our Privacy Collection Notices.

Where can I find out more about Information Privacy in general and how to protect my personal information?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner publishes a significant amount of advice and information for individuals and organisations.  There is also a Privacy Challenge on their website which can be used to see how much you understand about personal information in everyday life. You can visit their website at oaic.gov.au.