Our approach to privacy

Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) is committed to responsible and fair handling of your personal information, consistent with the Information Privacy Principles in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).

This Privacy Statement tells you how we manage your personal information. It applies to all your contact with us, whether in person, over the telephone or online.

Meaning of 'personal information'

Personal information means information or an opinion about an identifiable individual. The sort of personal information we handle includes name, address, telephone and email contact details and dispute details.

How we collect personal information

We collect personal information when you:

  • make an application for domestic building dispute resolution
  • submit a form
  • provide information or documents
  • email or write to us
  • telephone
  • participate in conciliation.

Whenever we collect personal information, we will ensure that you know why we collect it, what we do with it and who we disclose it to. Where we do not collect information directly from you, we will take reasonable steps to let you know that we have the information.

Collection of personal information and what we do with it

We collect personal information to enable us to assist in resolving domestic building disputes. The personal information we request when you make an application for dispute resolution is to enable us to assess your dispute and determine if it is suitable for conciliation. We also collect personal information in the course of arranging and facilitating conciliation.

In addition to the personal information we collect at the time of the application, we are empowered by law to ask applicants for additional information and documents, as well as details about any steps that were taken to resolve the dispute before it came to DBDRV. DBDRV can reject a dispute as not suitable for conciliation if the applicant does not co-operate with such a request.

Some of our work involves the 'indirect' collection of personal information - that is, where personal information is collected or received about you, but from someone else or from some other source. The most likely indirect source of personal information about you, is when we contact the other party to a dispute.

If you do not provide some or all of the personal information we request, we may not be able to provide you with dispute resolution services.

Website privacy

You can access the DBDRV home page and browse our website without disclosing your identity, because we do not collect personal information when you visit or browse. We may use software to track the total number of visitors to the website, and the number of visitors who visit specific website pages, but this will not personally identify any individual visitor.

Where you submit personal information through automatically generated links from an email or our website, or complete and submit an application for domestic building dispute resolution online, your personal information will be managed in accordance with the policy set out in this Privacy Statement.

Web statistics data collection

We use web analytics software to collect usage statistics for our website. This information is not used to identify you or match your identity with any of your personal information.

Clickstream data

The following non-personal information may be automatically recorded by our web server for statistical and system administration purposes:

  • your server address
  • your top-level domain name (e.g. .com, .au, .gov)
  • the date and the time of your visit to the site
  • the pages you accessed and downloaded
  • the address of the last site you visited
  • your operating system
  • the type of browser you are using

To the extent that any clickstream data could make you identifiable, we will not attempt to identify you from such clickstream data.

Cookies

We may use cookies from time to time. Cookies are small data files that a website places on a user's hard drive to record aspects of that user's experience of the website. Cookies are not used to identify you or record any of your personal information. The default settings of your browser may allow some or all cookies, but you can easily take steps to erase cookies from your hard-drive, block all cookies or receive a warning before a cookie is stored on your hard-drive. However, our website may not function fully if you disallow cookies.

Links to external websites

The website privacy component of this Privacy Statement does not extend beyond our website. When following links to other sites from this website, we recommend that you read the privacy statement on that site to familiarise yourself with its privacy practices.

Disclosure of personal information

DBDRV is authorised to disclose information to third parties where this is done for the purpose of carrying out the statutory dispute resolution functions for which DBDRV has been established. In particular, DBDRV is expressly authorised to disclose personal information to:

  • Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Victorian Building Authority
  • Victorian Managed Insurance Authority

Here are some other examples of circumstances when we may need to disclose your personal information outside of DBDRV:

  • If you lodge an application for dispute resolution, we will usually disclose relevant details to the other party to the dispute.
  • If we engage a member of our panel of specialist assessors, we will need to provide them with your personal information.

We may also need to disclose personal information to:

  • service providers who assist us in the operation of DBDRV, such as organisations who provide auditing and information technology services
  • third parties assisting you or acting on your behalf, such as a support person, advocate or interpreter.

Data quality and data security

We make every effort to ensure that personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Where we receive personal information about you from someone else, we will, where appropriate, verify that information directly with you. If you make an online application for domestic building dispute resolution, we cannot guarantee the security of all elements of the online transmission, but will take such steps as are reasonable and within our control, to protect the security of your personal information when it is collected online.

We have secure office premises and a security pass entry system. Our electronic files are protected from outside or unauthorised access, while older or completed files will be electronically archived. Our information technology arrangements incorporate data security measures. We require staff to use passwords to enter the computer system and our databases require an additional password, with different levels of access depending on the role of the officer concerned. Only staff who need to use your information will have access to it. We have 'firewalls' to protect the integrity of the information we store electronically and we also screen routinely for viruses. These and other measures help protect your personal information from misuse, loss or unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

Where personal information is disclosed or made available to contractors (for example, to our ‘panel’ building assessors or our ‘panel’ conciliators), we ensure that the contract requires confidentiality, restricts the use of the information to the purposes of the contract and clarifies what happens to personal information when the contract finishes. Wherever possible, arrangements are also made to enable us to monitor the contractor's compliance. Where contractors are involved in the delivery of core services, we ask them to comply with the Information Privacy Principles.

We will take steps to destroy personal information or remove it from our system when no longer required (except where archiving is required under public records laws).

Accessing your information

You can request access to the personal information we hold about you at any time. Some examples include the information we collected when you lodged an online application for domestic building dispute resolution and the information we received about you from the party who first lodged the dispute with us. We will try to give you access with as little formality as possible and without charging a fee. However, where your request is difficult or time consuming to answer, or where it involves personal information about other people, we may have to use freedom of information procedures to process the request.

If you become aware that personal information we hold about you is not accurate, complete or up to date, you can ask us to correct it and we will inform you of any action we take in response to your request.

Staying anonymous

Most of the things we do require you to provide us with personal information. However, where it does not affect the proper performance of our functions, we will not require you to provide it. For instance, if you make an enquiry about a consumer protection law or how we conciliate disputes, we can help you over the telephone or by email without the need for you to give us any of your personal details. If you need a copy of one of our guidelines or other publications, you can do so without identifying yourself, by visiting the website and downloading or printing the material.

Privacy complaints

If you are unhappy about the way we have treated the privacy of your personal information, you may complain to us in writing.

The DBDRV Privacy Co-ordinator will handle the investigation of a privacy complaint. DBDRV will acknowledge complaints within 5 working days, and will provide a full response within 20 working days. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can complain directly to the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection.

Send your written complaint to:

The Chief Dispute Resolution Officer
Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria
PO Box 430
Port Melbourne VIC 3207

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