Last Updated: March 2021
INTRODUCTIONThe Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“Privacy Act”), as amended by the Privacy Amendment (Enhancement Privacy Protection) Act 2012, establishes a scheme based on the Australian Privacy Principles, which regulates the collection, use, disclosure, handling, security, transfer and management of personal information, including electronically stored or transmitted information.
Under the FASEA Code of Ethics Standard 4 you have an obligation to ensure that before you act for the client you should consider explaining clearly (among other things) clearly and simply and ensuring the client understands and consents to the privacy and confidentiality arrangements applicable to them.
RESPONSIBILITYThis policy is the responsibility of the Responsible Manager.REVIEWThis policy will be reviewed annually.
PROVIDING CLIENTS WITH A PRIVACY STATEMENTUnder the Privacy Act, you must notify persons of certain information about how you collect and disclose their information, prior to collection of this information. To satisfy this requirement, Advise Wise Financial Services has incorporated a Privacy Statement within the FSG. You must provide a client with a copy of the FSG prior to collecting personal information from them in the course of providing financial services. This will also help you to meet your requirements under Standard 4 of the Code of Ethics.
Access to Personal InformationClients can request access to their personal information held on file, however, there are some instances where you may not be able to provide clients with access to this information.
We must give clients access to their personal information when they request it, and respond within a reasonable period and give them access in the manner they need.If we refuse access to personal information, we must provide the reasons in writing and let the customer know how to complain about our refusal.
Security of personal informationWe must take reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse, interference, loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. This includes introducing measures to protect against computer attacks. We also need to take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify personal information if it is no longer needed for any authorised purpose. The exception to this is where we are required to retain the information under Australian law or a court/tribunal order.
Adoption, use or disclosure of Government IdentifiersIn order to comply with our privacy obligations, we must not use Tax File Numbers (TFNs), Medicare numbers or any other government identifiers as ourown identifier. For example, we cannot use a customer’s TFN to identify a customer in our records.
When collecting information that contains a TFN (eg a tax assessment notice) you must receive consent to maintain the TFN (eg via the TFN Authorisation in the Fact Find or the TFN Consent form. If you do not have consent you must black out/ delete/destroy the TFN at the time the information is collected.
When do I need to obtain consent from clients in relation to their personal information?The Privacy Act requires that you only use and disclose a client’s personal information in specific circumstances, such as where you have the client’s consent or where you are required by law to do so (for example in response to a valid request for information from a government agency such as the ATO). You must collect information from the individual, ensure they have consented to collection of this information, only collect information reasonably needed for, or directly related to, one of our functions or activities. You must also not collect sensitive information unless the client consents to the collection and the sensitive information is reasonably necessary for one of our functions or activities.
Examples of sensitive information include:▪ race or ethnic origin▪ political opinions, membership of a political association▪ religious beliefs or affiliations and philosophical beliefs▪ membership of a professional or trade association or membership of a trade union▪ sexual preferences and practices▪ criminal record▪ health information and biometric information including disability, illness (including HIV or AIDS), pregnancy.
Generally, we only collect sensitive information if it is necessary to provide customers with a specific product or service and they have consented to that collection. For example, we may collect health information to process a claim under an insurance policy or collect voice biometric information to verify identity or authorise transactions.
The Advise Wise Financial Services Fact Find allows for a client to give their consent for obtaining, using and disclosing their personal information for the purposes of providing financial services. This is incorporated in the Client Declaration section of the Fact Find.
What do I do if I receive unsolicited personal information?An individual may provide us with unsolicited information i.e. information which we did not solicit.If you receive unsolicited information you need to determine if it is reasonably needed for, or directly related to, one of our functions or activities. For example, is it required for the purposed of providing financial services or products to the client? If it is not, then you should destroy, de-identify or return to the client this information as soon as practicable, but only if lawful and reasonable to do so, and only if the information is not public knowledge.
What if I need to collect information from a third party?Where you need to collect information about a client from a third party (e.g. a superannuation provider), you will need to make the client aware that you are going to do so, or have done so. This is achieved by ensuring that the client completes and signs the ‘Client Authorisation for Additional Information from Other Institutions or Financial Advisers” section in the Fact Find.
What must not be kept on a client file?Any personal medical information or other sensitive information which is not directly associated with your advice must be destroyed after the business has been written or declined by the underwriter, unless required to be maintained by law.If you recorded this information in the Fact Find, or any other data collection document, it must be removed by scoring out the information.
If you recorded this information electronically, it must be deleted after the business has been written or declined.
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