How and why we collect information
In the course of providing services to the community, whether through this website or off-line, we collect personal information in a variety of ways. For example, personal information is collected when you:
- make a payment to us;
- enquire about the services we provide;
- apply for a permit;
- apply for a job with us; and
- supply goods or services to us.
Typical information we collect may include your name, email address, home address and phone number. Depending on the purpose for which the information is being collected, we may ask for other details or information.
Collection and use of personal data
The City of Ballarat website only collects or records personal information you choose to provide through our Contact us section, subscription to various initiatives or program updates and financial transactions.
As part of our commitment to customer service, we may periodically invite you to provide feedback about your experience via a survey. Any survey is voluntary and you do not have to participate.
City of Ballarat staff use personal information collected from email and survey sources to respond to individuals and discuss their enquiries. Survey results and personal information may also be used for our own planning and research purposes to improve our services to the community.
Email addresses and any other contact details you provide will not be added to mailing lists without your consent.
Disclosure of Personal Information
City of Ballarat use and disclose personal information primarily for the purpose for which it was collected. As most of our information is collected from you directly, you will normally be aware of the purpose of the collection and when, and for what purpose your information may be used or disclosed.
City of Ballarat will take all reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised access to, or disclosure of, your personal information.
We will also take all reasonable measures to attempt to ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to other individuals, institutions and authorities outside Council except if required or authorised by law or explicitly permitted by you. For example, in the event of an investigation into suspected unlawful or improper activity, a law enforcement agency or government agency may exercise its legal authority to inspect the web server’s records (e.g. in relation to hacking or abusive messages).
Cookies are small files that are transferred to your web browser when you visit a website. The files contain data that helps you navigate the website efficiently. Cookies are used to save information about your interaction with a website – for example, your login details, preferences, and how and when you use a website. They cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Our website uses session cookies which are stored in temporary memory, and are not retained after you close the browser session. Google Analytics may also set or collect first-party cookies to collect information on website usage.
Collection of web analytics data
We use Google Analytics software to collect information about your interaction with our website. When you visit our website, your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google Analytics. The information collected includes:
- network location and IP address;
- the date and time of your visit to our website;
- the type of web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari etc.) and operating system (e.g. Windows 10, Mac OS X etc.) you are using;
- referring site details (such as the URL that you came through to arrive at our website);
- pages visited and the time spent on each page;
- documents downloaded and search terms used; and
- the forms accessed on our website.
We have enabled IP anonymisation, which means that when Google Analytics receives IP addresses, it is then anonymised.
Use of web analytics data
We use this information for statistical purposes, such as to analyse, measure, and report on data about our website traffic and visits. This information helps us understand general user trends at an aggregate level, and improve our website, content, and user experience.
We may also use this information for security audits to protect against threats from hackers or other security purposes.
We do not use this information to identify you or match it with any other personal information that we may collect from you, unless required to do so as part of an internal investigation or for a law enforcement-related purpose, in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act (PDP Act).
Your site visit data is collected under the authority of Information Privacy Principle 1.1 of the PDP Act for the purposes stated above.
Disclosure of web analytics data
We do not disclose your site visit data to third parties without your consent, unless we are required or authorised to do so by law. In the event of an investigation into suspected unlawful or improper activity, a law enforcement or government agency may use its legal authority to inspect our web server’s records (e.g. in relation to hacking or abusive messages).
Access and Correction
Requests for access to and correction of documents containing personal information are generally managed under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
However, some requests for personal information may be dealt with informally and in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
Requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 must be made in writing stating as clearly and precisely as possible what information is required, and addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
City of Ballarat
PO Box 655
Ballarat VIC 3353
Telephone (03) 5320 5500
Links to other sites
The City of Ballarat website provides links to other sites as a community service. Council is not responsible for the privacy practices of those sites and recommends that you refer to their respective privacy statements.
Ballarat Content Hub
Although there is no obligation to do so, we encourage individuals to send written complaints directly to us about a breach, or perceived breach, of privacy in the first instance.
Alternatively, complaints can be directed to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, although any complaint can be declined if you have not first directed your complaint to us.
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:
Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
PO Box 24274
Melbourne VIC 3001
Telephone: 1300 666 444
All enquiries concerning your personal information and privacy should be addressed to Council’s Privacy Officer.
The Privacy Officer can be contacted on 03 5320 5500 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.