The National Relay Service – protecting your privacy
The National Relay Service (NRS) is a telephone relay service that allows Australians who are d/Deaf, hard of hearing and/or have speech communication difficulty to communicate with anyone who uses a telephone and vice versa.
The NRS is an initiative provided under contract with the Australian Government. The NRS is funded by a levy on eligible telecommunications carriers.
The NRS consists of a Relay Service that provides a call centre where Relay Officers relay your calls to other people. Users of the service are supported by a Helpdesk provided by the NRS.
The NRS appreciates and values the relationship we have with you and we will protect the personal information that you entrust to us.
All NRS staff must sign an undertaking that they will only access, use or disclose personal information about NRS users in the course of their duties and for no other purpose.
What information do we collect about you?
To provide you with services, the NRS asks you to give us certain personal information including your name, address and your contact details including TTY, phone and your email address. We may also collect other information like the type of equipment you use, the nature of your disability, your preferences in using the NRS, your PIN number and any notes that help you use the NRS more easily.
Australian Privacy Principles
The NRS must adhere to the Australian Government’s Australian Privacy Principles, which are set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (C’th). The Privacy Principles control the way in which we may collect, store, use and disclose your personal information.
In addition, the NRS Relay Service must also comply with confidentiality and privacy matters set out in Part 13 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.
How do we protect your privacy and personal information?
Collecting your personal information
We only collect your personal information when it’s needed for us to provide a good service to you. We only collect this information by lawful and fair means — generally, we will only collect personal information from you directly, and not from a third party.
We keep your personal information either in hard copy form or electronically (on our computer).
Using your personal information
We may use the personal information we collect from you to:
- Provide you with access to the National Relay Service and improve our customer service to you
- Respond to your inquiries or send you information about the NRS
- Gain your feedback on the service we’ve provided to you
- Investigate any complaints you make about the NRS
- Enable us to prepare internal reports and statistical data on the services we provide to NRS users.
We take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Storing your personal information
We keep all personal information in safe storage. Hard copy notes, forms and files containing personal information are kept in locked filing cabinets and can only be accessed by NRS employees.
All computer-generated data, correspondence and emails are created and stored on password-protected computers, ensuring that no unauthorised access can occur.
Disclosing your personal information
We will not pass your personal information to anyone else without your permission, unless required by law to do so (such as calls to emergency services) or an appropriate instrument was provided by the party seeking the details, such as a warrant held by a police force.
Access to your personal information
The NRS takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect about you is accurate, complete and up to date.
You have the right (with some exceptions), to access the personal information that we hold about you. Access to your information can be arranged by logging in to see your user profile information or contacting our Helpdesk. You can also ask us to check and correct any of your personal information. No fee will be charged for these purposes.
Recording contact with the NRS
When making calls through the NRS, no records are kept of any NRS conversations, except for training purposes with the caller’s consent, or where it’s legally required, such as calls to emergency services.
If you’re submitting personal information to us over the internet that you wish to remain private. You should be aware that there is the possibility that the information you submit could be observed by someone else while in transit.
Do you believe that the NRS has breached your privacy?
If you believe that the NRS may have breached your privacy, you should contact our Helpdesk to discuss your issues or concerns and we will try to resolve them in consultation with you. The best way to help us respond to your concerns is to tell us honestly, completely and accurately about what has happened. Tell us quickly about your concerns — don’t sit on your problems. Please contact us:
- TTY: 1800 555 630
- Phone: 1800 555 660
- Fax: 1800 555 690
- SMS: 0416 001 350
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online – Online form
- Mail: PO Box 99, Mount Clear, VIC 3350.
The NRS has a complaints policy that focuses on a fair and effective response if someone has a concern or complaint about the NRS. If you’re still dissatisfied with our response to your concerns about privacy at the NRS, you have a right to complain in writing to the Australian Information Commissioner.
Phone: 1300 363 992
Fax: 02 9284 9666
Mail: GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2000