Privacy

The ABC is strongly committed to protecting your privacy when you interact with us, our content, products and services.

Our goal is to provide you and your family with media experiences that inform, entertain and educate. Sometimes this means that we use information that you provide to us about yourself to customise that experience. We do this to improve your enjoyment of our products and services. In providing our services to you, the ABC will be transparent about how and why we collect and use your information. In some cases, if you do not want us to collect or use your information in a particular way, then we will give you the opportunity to say so.

The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to explain:

  • the application of this Privacy Policy
  • the kind of information the ABC may collect about you, how we collect it, and how we use it
  • how we may disclose that information
  • how you can access the information we hold about you
  • when we may use your information to contact you
  • the protection of your personal information
  • the ABC’s use of cookies to collect information, and how you can control or delete these cookies
  • additional steps to protect young people
  • how and why we collect and use additional information when you visit the ABC Shop.

1. Application of this Privacy Policy

The ABC’s Privacy Policy applies to personal information collected by the ABC, whether we have asked for the information or not. The ABC is governed by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

The APPs do not apply to acts done, or practices engaged in, by the ABC in relation to its program material. In most cases, such acts and practices are governed by the ABC Editorial Policies and ABC Code of Practice rather than this Privacy Policy.

This policy applies only to the ABC. It does not apply to any other company or organisation, including those whose digital services have links to ABC content or services. Third party services which have links to ABC content or services will govern the use of personal information you submit to them, which may also be collected by cookies when you visit or use them. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the privacy practices of such third party digital services.

This policy applies to ABC Shops. The ABC Shop is a multichannel retailer with stores Australia-wide, and includes online shopping

The ABC will review this policy regularly, and may update it from time to time. If we make changes, we will post those changes on the privacy page of the ABC’s website.

2. Collection and use of personal information

2.1 Why we collect personal information

The ABC collects personal information about you:

  • because you have provided it to us, for instance if you contact us to make comments, complaints or to ask us questions, or you have interacted with one of our digital services (including online and mobile services), for instance by participating in forums, polls or competitions;
  • because we need it to provide a product or service that you have requested, for instance, if you subscribe to an email list or loyalty program, enter a competition, or purchase products from the ABC;
  • because we would like to improve our services, for instance through the collection and analysis of statistical and research data and use of cookies (see below);
  • because you work for us, or apply to us for a job, a cadetship or work experience;
  • for purposes directly related to any of the above.

2.2 How we collect information when you use a digital service (including online and mobile services)

Broadly, there are two types of information or data we collect:

Information that you specifically give us

For example, you may provide information about yourself when you are filling in a form or when you sign up to a service. This type of information may include your name, email address and age. The information that you give us may be:

  • Personal information that is required. In some instances, you must provide personal information if you wish to use a particular service or participate in an activity. For example, your age may be required if we need to confirm that you are old enough to use a particular service.
  • Personal information that is optional. You may choose to provide some personal information which is not required but is directly related to the ABC’s functions or activities. Usually this type of information will enable the ABC to improve or broaden the services we can offer you. If you choose not to provide this optional information, we would still be able to offer you the service, but perhaps with fewer options than if you had provided the optional information. For example, if you tell us your interests in a particular area, we may be able to provide you with specific ABC content that matches your interests. If you provide us with unsolicited information that we do not require or which is not directly related to the ABC’s functions or activities, the ABC may be required to destroy or de-identify that information, provided it is lawful and reasonable to do so.
  • Permissions. Sometimes you will be asked to confirm that you agree to a particular activity. For example, you may need to expressly agree that you would like to receive a newsletter or to confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions of a competition.

You may be able to make changes to the information you provided us (for example, if you change your email address) or withdraw the permission you gave us for a particular service. We will make it clear how you do that.

Data we collect that tracks your activity

The ABC automatically gathers information to monitor the use of its digital services (including online and mobile services), like the numbers and frequency of visitors to ABC websites.

This information helps us improve our services by learning what our audiences use and don’t use. It can also help us identify if there are any problems with our services that need fixing.

This data is usually collected using ‘cookies’. ‘Cookies’ are small files that are stored on your browser. Further information about the ABC’s use of cookies is provided below.

Most of the data we collect is aggregated, and this information is effectively anonymous to us.

In some cases we may collect data that can be linked to you individually. For example, when you log in to an ABC digital service as a registered user, we may store records of information such as the comments you make, the pages you viewed or links you click on. Similarly, if you use our email newsletters we may collect data about the mailings you open and the links you click on from that newsletter.

As well as helping to improve our services, we may use this data to provide recommendations that you might find helpful based on your activity. In some cases, a digital profile may be formed based on your activity. We do this in order to improve your experience (for instance, because some services may allow you to build a profile which earns different privileges); or to improve our ability to provide a service (for instance, because our decisions about moderation of content may need to have regard to your profile).

Though surveys usually collect aggregate data, we will make it clear to you if any survey information is being collected in a way that could personally identify you.

If you use ABC Shops, further information may need to be collected because of the commercial nature of this site. Additional privacy information about ABC Shops is set out below.

3. Disclosure of personal information

3.1 Disclosure of personal information to third parties

The ABC may disclose your personal information to third parties for the following purposes:

  • to provide the service you wish to use;
  • for research purposes relating to the performance, quality, maintenance and improvement of the ABC’s services and products;
  • to customise and promote ABC services which may be of interest to you;
  • to provide technical support to you to use the ABC’s services;
  • if permitted or required by law; or
  • otherwise with your consent.

The ABC is assisted by a variety of third parties to deliver the services offered by the ABC. These third parties are too numerous to list, and they change from time to time. Some examples of the types of third parties include:

  • technology service providers including:
    • Internet service providers such as Akamai
    • App service providers such as Wildfire
    • cloud service providers such as Engine Yard and Amazon Web Services
  • ABC Shop fulfilment partners such as Australia Post
  • Promotion or marketing service providers such as Mindbox and Double Click
  • Subscription service providers and their mailing houses.

In many cases, the ABC imposes contractual restrictions equivalent to those imposed on the ABC under the Privacy Act in respect of collection and use of personal information by those third parties. In some cases, such as social media networks, the ABC’s ability to impose contractual restrictions is limited. In those circumstances, the ABC will carefully consider the risks to the protection of personal information when entering into arrangements with third parties.

These third parties may be located in Australia or overseas locations, including but not limited to Singapore and the USA.

The ABC may disclose your personal information (excluding sensitive information about you) to third parties for the purposes of direct marketing the ABC’s services. The ABC will obtain your specific consent to disclose sensitive information for the purposes of direct marketing the ABC’s services. You will be able to opt-out of direct marketing at any time if you so choose.

Under no circumstances will the ABC sell or receive payment for licensing or disclosing your personal information.

3.2 Information that you disclose publicly

The ABC provides content and services on a range of platforms with interactive features that you can contribute to. These include: guestbooks, forums, event diaries, reviews, recipes, online voting, blogs, and comments on opinion articles.

When using digital services (including online and mobile services), we suggest that you use your discretion and exercise caution when providing your personal information. For instance, if you “share” information that you have posted on an ABC website using a social media tool, it is likely that you will be sharing your personal information. The ABC has a limited capacity to protect personal information that you choose to share in this way.

Note that whenever you post personal information in publicly accessible places, such as chat rooms or message boards, this information becomes available to anyone with access to the internet. This information can be collected and used by others. In short, if you post personal information (such as your contact details) online, you may receive unwanted messages from other parties in return. Therefore, we recommend that you refrain from posting any information that you do not want seen in these public areas. For example, when participating in an ABC forum or guest book, your name will appear on the message board. In some cases, it may be appropriate to use a pen name or pseudonym rather than your real name when you are online. You must not intentionally use the name of another living person.

Ultimately, you are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your passwords and/or any personal information. Be responsible whenever you are online or using a digital service.

3.3 Information that is disclosed via other platforms or services

Some ABC services may be integrated with external services, including social media networks. This may mean that information, for instance about your interests and activities, is tracked or pulled from other places (such as Facebook). If you are signed in to an ABC service which is integrated with other media tools, this information may be available to others depending on the privacy settings you have in place on other platforms.

The number and nature of social media platforms is changing rapidly, and the way in which information is shared between them is becoming increasingly complex. To help you manage and protect your personal information, the ABC will ask you to opt-in before making your personal information available through an integrated service. You may also opt-out of your participation in most of the ABC’s digital services. Information about how to opt-out will be provided in the particular service. However, you should be aware that the ABC may continue to store personal information provided by you prior to you opting-out.

Your ability to opt-out of a third party tool or platform will depend on the conditions governing your agreement with that third party.

4. Accessing your personal information

You have the right to request access to personal information that is held by the ABC about you. Requests for access will be dealt with by the ABC in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

You also have the right to request the correction of any of your personal information that the ABC holds. The ABC will take reasonable steps to make appropriate corrections to personal information so that it is accurate, complete and up-to-date. To seek access to, or correction of, your personal information please contact the ABC as follows:

By email: