Privacy Policy

ISS Australia is committed to respecting the privacy of your personal information. This Privacy Policy sets out our personal information management practices. It covers the following areas:

  • Application of privacy laws
  • Personal information collected
  • Use and disclosure of personal information
  • Accessing and updating your personal information
  • Security of personal information
  • Information for users of our Website

“Personal information” which means information which identifies you as an individual or from which your identity can be reasonably ascertained. References to “ISS Australia”, “us”, “we” and “our” are references to International Social Service Australia ABN 12 004 508 641 and its related bodies corporate.

Application of privacy laws
ISS Australia is required to comply with the Information Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 and other laws which protect your privacy. ISS Australia sometimes handles personal information relying on exemptions under these laws, for example in relation to:

  • employee records
  • related bodies corporate
  • provision of services to State or Territory authorities
  • operations outside Australia relating to personal information of non-Australians

Any permitted handling of personal information under such exemptions will take priority over this Privacy Policy to the extent of any inconsistency.

In all other respects this Privacy Policy applies to the extent permitted by law.

ISS Australia Specific Privacy Procedures

ISS Australia collects personal information about individuals such as clients, supporters, volunteers, contractors, job applicants and persons sought by family members requesting our tracing services. In certain circumstances we may collect sensitive information such as health information. We will only collect this information if provided voluntarily, with consent or as otherwise authorised by law.  

We may collect, use and disclose personal information for purposes including:  

  • for clients and prospective clients,
  • assessing the services required and whether we can provide those services and deliver those services assessing any application made to become an employee volunteer or contractor  
  • for supporters (including members, donors, sponsors and referring agencies) to process and record donations, provide receipts and – subject to legal requirements and any requests you make to opt out – to contact you about ISS Australia, our activities and to provide our newsletters, reports, invitations and membership renewal requests
  • compliance with legal requirements (for example, child protection laws)  

Provision of personal information is voluntary although we may not be able to properly conduct services to clients without some of their personal information.  

Many of our tasks are performed with the assistance of our contractors, volunteers, partner agencies and associated ISS offices overseas, and we may share personal information with them within the law.  

ISS Australia provides international family tracing-related services including searching and reunion. Personal information about a person requesting tracing is only provided to the person being traced (or vice versa) with consent or where required by law.  When a client requests ISS Australia to undertake an overseas background check, we will only disclose their personal information to the relevant authorities overseas with their consent or where required by law.

We may sometimes need to share personal information with government agencies where appropriate in relation to funding arrangements or where relevant to services we are providing (for example, to provide more effective services relating to child welfare, adult welfare, child abduction or family mediation).  

Irrespective of whether personal information is stored electronically or in hard copy form, we take reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.


ISS Australia will:

  • Only collect information that is necessary for our performance and primary function.
  • Notify stakeholders on our website about why we collect the information and how it is administered.  
  • Notify stakeholders that this information is accessible to them.
  • Collect personal information from the person themselves wherever possible.
  • If collecting personal information from a third party, be able to advise the person whom the information concerns, from whom their personal information has been collected.
  • Collect Sensitive information only with the person’s consent.
  • Determine, where unsolicited information is received, whether the personal information could have been collected it in the usual way, and then if it could have, it will be treated normally. (If it could not have been, it must be destroyed, and the person whose personal information has been destroyed will be notified about the receipt and destruction of their personal information).

Use and Disclosure  

ISS Australia will:

  • Only use or disclose information for the primary purpose for which it was collected or a directly related secondary purpose.  
  • In relation to a secondary purpose, use or disclose the personal information only where:

~ a secondary purpose is related to the primary purpose and the individual would reasonably have expected us to use it for purposes;

~ or the person has consented;

~ or certain other legal reasons exist, or disclosure is required to prevent serious and imminent threat to life, health or safety.

  • For other purposes, ISS Australia will only use or disclose the personal information when consent has been obtained from the affected person.
  • In relation to personal information which has been collected from a person, use the personal information for direct marketing, where that person would reasonably expect it to be used for this purpose, and ISS Australia has provided an opt out and the opt out has not been taken up.
  • In relation to personal information which has been collected other than from the person themselves, only use the personal information for direct marketing if the person whose personal information has been collected has consented (and they have not taken up the opt-out).
  • Provide all individuals access to personal information except where it is a threat to life or health or it is authorized by law to refuse and, if a person is able to establish that the personal information is not accurate, then ISS Australia must take steps to correct it.  
  • Where for a legal or other reason we are not required to provide a person with access to the information, consider whether a mutually agreed intermediary would allow sufficient access to meet the needs of both parties.
  • Make no charge for making a request for personal information, correcting the information or associating a statement regarding accuracy with the personal information.


ISS Australia will implement and maintain steps to ensure that personal information is protected from misuse and loss, unauthorized access, interference, unauthorized modification or disclosure.  

Destruction and de-identification    

ISS Australia will destroy personal information once it is not required to be kept for the purpose for which it was collected or it is not required to be kept by law, including from decommissioned laptops and mobile phones.  

Data Quality  

ISS Australia will take reasonable steps to ensure the information ISS Australia collects is accurate, complete, up to date, and relevant to the functions we perform.  


ISS Australia will ensure stakeholders are aware of ISS Australia’s Privacy Policy and its purposes by placing our privacy policy on our website.    

Access and Correction  

ISS Australia will ensure individuals have a right to seek access to information held about them and to correct it if it is inaccurate, incomplete, misleading or not up to date.


ISS Australia will where permissable, allow people from whom the personal information is being collected to not identify themselves or use a pseudonym unless it is impracticable to deal with them on this basis.  

Making information available to other organisations  

ISS Australia will release information to third parties where it is requested by the person concerned.

Information for users of our Website

If you visit (our “Website”) to read, browse or download information, our system may record information such as the date and time of your visit to the Website, the pages accessed and any information downloaded. This information is used for statistical, reporting and website administration and maintenance purposes only.

Like many websites, our Website may use “cookies” from time to time. Cookies are small text files that we transfer to your computer’s hard drive through your web browser to enable our systems to recognise your browser. Cookies may also be used to record non-personal information such as the date, time or duration of your visit, or the pages accessed, for website administration, statistical and maintenance purposes. Any such information will be aggregated and not linked to particular individuals. The default settings of browsers like Internet Explorer always allow cookies, but users can easily erase cookies from their hard-drive, block all cookies, or receive a warning before a cookie is stored. Please note that some parts of the Website may not function fully for users who disallow cookies.

While we take great care to protect your personal information on our Website, unfortunately no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Accordingly, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you send to us or receive from us online. This is particularly true for information you send to us via email. We have no way of protecting that information until it reaches us. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best effort to ensure its security in our possession.

The Website may contains links to other sites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or policies of those sites.

International Social Service Australia ABN 12 004 508 641

Last updated: 4 September 2020