O’Farrell Robertson McMahon (OFRM) is strongly committed to protecting your privacy.
Our goal is to provide you with quality legal services and on occasion this requires us to use the information you provide to us in assisting you.
Our use of the information you provide to us is also subject to the strict requirements and ethical obligations imposed by the legislation which governs the practice of lawyers. This means we are required to keep your matter confidential and we will.
In providing our services, OFRM want to be transparent about the collection and use of your personal information. This includes information that could be used to identify you (name, date of birth, address) and information about your legal matter.
The purpose of this policy is to explain:
- What kinds of personal information we collect and store;
- How we collect and store the personal information;
- Why we collect personal information and in what circumstances we will disclose the information;
- How you can access details of the personal information we hold and if necessary correct the personal information; and
- How to contact us to discuss any breach of this policy or the use of your personal information.
Privacy Enquiries and Complaints
You have a right to request access to personal information held by OFRM about you. You also have the right to request correction of any personal information that we hold. If you do have any questions or complaints regarding our use, collection or storage of your personal information, please feel free to contact us to discuss these issues. You should initially discuss this with the lawyer or otherwise please contact David Buchan, our Finance & Administration Manager.
- 03 5445 1000
- PO Box 1111
BENDIGO VIC 3552
We will endeavor to respond to your query, comment or complaint within 30 days of receipt of your correspondence.
If you are unhappy with our response or if we do not provide a response within 30 days you can make a complaint to the Privacy Comissioner at the Office of the Australian Information Comissioner ("OAIC"). The OAIC can be contacted by telephone on 1300 363 992 or at www.oaic.gov.au
Collection and Use of Personal Information
OFRM collects information about you in the following circumstances;
- Where we are providing a service that you have requested. For example, if you engage us to prepare a Will for you;
- Where you have applied for a position with us, or are completing work experience or other related work with us;
- Where you have provided the information to us through correspondence either written, verbal or electronic.
- Where we would like to improve our service to you, for example through the use and collection of data for statistical purposes or by the use of electronic tools like website cookies;
- As part of our client database; and
- For any other purpose related to providing quality legal services to you.
Generally speaking there are two types of information we collect:
Information that you specifically give to us; and
Other information obtained from your use of our services and/or interactions with us including our website, Facebook page or other social media.
While in some circumstances you may not need to provide us with personal information, there are many circumstances when dealing with us that you must provide your personal information to us.
For example, we are unable to act on your behalf in legal matters unless we have been provided with your personal details.
We will endeavor to ensure that any personal information stored within our systems is complete, accurate, up to date, relevant, and kept confidential. However this will not be the case if your situation has changed and you have not informed us of the change.
Electronic Data We Collect
Web Forms, Surveys and Social Media Interactions
Any information provided to us by you via web forms such as our "Request an Appointment" form, seminar registrations and social media interactions ("Likes", "Shares", "Comments" and the like) may be collected and stored by OFRM for use suitable to its purpose.
We encourage you to be vigilant about the protection of your own information when using digital services, such as social media. While we will endeavor to ensure that any relationships we have with third parties include an appropriate level of protection for your privacy, we are unable to control any electronic platform operated by or hosted by a third party, nor can we ever confirm such information has been fully deleted.
Analytical Data from Websites and Social Media
OFRM automatically collects information to on the use of our website and social media accounts. We use the built-in tools for each platform, plus Google Analytics, to provide analytical data that helps us identify what our users want from our online services and to help us identify what is useful or unnecessary on our site. This data is predominantly collected using cookies. Most information is effectively anonymous; however, if you do not want this type of information recorded, use a web browsers that gives you the option to disable cookies.
Storage of Personal Information
Information collected by us is stored in a mix of physical files within our office, electronically on our server, electronically offsite for backup purposes, in secure archive storage offsite, and from time-to-time electronically on cloud servers or hosted sites.
We believe our choices properly balance the needs of privacy with the effectiveness of working on your matter. Again, while we will endeavor to ensure that any relationships we have with third parties include an appropriate level of protection for your privacy, we are unable to control any electronic platform operated by or hosted by a third party. These change from time to time and currently include Squarespace for website hosting and Dropbox for file sharing.
Length of Time We Keep Information
We keep physical files of client information and records for a period of 7 years from the date of completion of a matter in line with standard business practices. Electronic files will be generally kept for a longer period.
If the information is not client matter related, we generally keep other data on our server or in our archives for as long as we reasonably need it, for taxation, insurance purposes or legal issues.
We may alter this practice according to changing requirements. For example, we may delete some data, if needed, to free up storage space. In addition, information posted by you in a public forum could stay in the public view indefinitely.
Disclosure of Personal Information
We do not sell personal information to third parties.
We may disclose personal information to our staff and to third parties involved in the provision of our services to you, including banks, government agencies, barristers engaged in your matter and Courts. We may also disclose information for the analysis and support of your use of our website.
We are permitted under the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015 (under the Legal Profession Uniform Law) to disclose your personal information in the following circumstances;
- Where you have expressly or impliedly authorised disclosure;
- Where we are permitted or compelled by law to disclose your personal information;
- When the information is disclosed in a confidential setting, for the sole purpose of obtaining advice in connection with our legal or ethical obligations;
- Where we disclose the information for the sole purpose of avoiding the probable commission of a serious criminal offence;
- Where the information is disclosed for the purpose of preventing imminent serious physical harm to you or to another person; or
- Where the information is disclosed to our insurers.
Use of your Personal Information to Contact You
We will never intentionally send you unwanted electronic commercial material, however, if we feel there is an update to legislation or a significant issue you need to be aware of we may send you information to advise you of this update or change as relevant to you.
We may also send you correspondence from time to time regarding our services.
Protection of Information We Collect
We use secure web services to collect your information and we store certain kinds of data in encrypted form.
We follow reasonable technical and management practices to help protect the confidentiality, security and integrity of data stored on our system and premises. While no system is completely secure, we believe the measures implemented by us reduce the likelihood of security problems to a level appropriate to the type of data involved.
Credit/Debit Card Information
We do not accept credit or debit card information via our website. If anyone purports to be OFRM and asks for your card information online please leave the site and contact us immediately.
When you provide card details through the post, via email or over the phone, the information is destroyed once the payment has been processed. However, if the card details are provided in a letter or email that contains other information relevant to your matter which we must keep, then your card details will be stored unencrypted within our system. Always provide card details in a separate correspondence.
If you provide card details and direct us to retain them for future payments, we will store them encrypted until such time as you direct us to destroy them or your matter completes (whichever is earliest).
DO NOT POST, EMAIL, SMS FLAGS
Our system includes flags that can be set at your request to prevent post, email or SMS being delivered. We will endeavour to honour the flags when set.
Third Party Websites
Our website contains links to third party websites.
We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these websites even if you access those sites using links from us. Your use of these third party websites is entirely at your own risk and we recommend that you check the privacy and security policy of each website you visit. Clicking on a third party link will take you to a third party’s website. We make no representation or warranty as to the effectiveness, quality, legitimacy or data protections of any third party website.
From time to time, we may send non-commercial electronic mail messages to your email account. In addition, we regularly send correspondence to you by email regarding any services we provide to you. If you do not want to receive email communication from us, you will need to advise us of this.
Sharing Files Via the Coud
At times during the course of your client matter we may wish to share files with you or a barrister via the Dropbox cloud service (or any other cloud service we deem suitable from time-to-time). This typically occurs when documents are too large to be sent or received via email and you need to see them faster than post will allow. As the files are likely to contain sensitive information we will seek your explicit permission via email prior to storing them on Dropbox and delete the files as soon as they are no longer required.