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CHOICE Privacy Statement

As Australia's leading consumer advocate, we take protecting your privacy very seriously. 

This Privacy Statement explains how CHOICE uses and protects any information that you give us when you use a CHOICE Site. When we're talking about a 'Site' we mean any CHOICE website, mobile site, social media site, emails we send, a CHOICE-delivered app, or any other CHOICE platform. This includes where the site management is outsourced to a third party. We have big plans afoot, so that definition of 'Site' also covers any technology we may deliver in the future. 

The internet is an ever-evolving medium, and that means we'll need to change this page from time to time to keep up with new developments. To make sure you're doing the same, we encourage you to return here regularly to check for any updates. The policy in this statement partners with our terms and conditions so please get to know those too. 

Why we collect your details 

Part of delivering a high quality, personalised digital experience is recognising who we're talking to, so we can provide the services that you want from us. To do that, we may need to request and store some of your private information. We know your privacy is vital, so these details will only ever be used in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Statement. 

What we collect 

We limit the information we collect to only what we consider is necessary. 

This includes: 

  • Your billing information – name, contact details including email, postal address, IP address and phone number (you may remain anonymous or use a pseudonym if you wish). 
  • Any other information we need to deliver goods and services to you. 
  • Retaining server logs of requests made to our server, but for no more than 120 days days. 
  • Retaining non-identifiable IP addresses, but for no more than five years. 

Aside from obvious places, we may also collect this information in our customer surveys, user reviews and opinions, and when you engage with our Sites (for example Voice Your Choice and CHOICE.community), whether logged on or not.  While we may be small, we're involved in a lot of consumer projects and advocacy, which means we need to work with key partners from time to time and use their external platforms. That means we may also collect your personal details from other sites like Engaging Networks if you've signed one of our petitions or supported our advocacy work. 

Participating in a CHOICE campaign may, on occasion, involve your name, phone number and/or email address being passed on to a third party in the form of a petition or email to a decision maker, such as a political party or government department. We'll be transparent about this process in the notice or invitation we send to you, noting that the action requires sending an email to a politician or a business. 

You should note that because of the nature of a petition, once it's delivered CHOICE has no control over how your information is used by the recipient of the petition. This means you should think carefully about whether you want to disclose your information through that type of process. You should also note that if you're signing a petition, emailing a decision maker via one or more of our Sites, or the sites of our partners or service providers, the privacy policy of the politician, decision maker, partner and/or service provider may apply. However, the Australian Privacy Principles and the Spam Act 2003 may possibly apply to one or more of those companies. Your privacy and security in this case is covered by the other company's policy, such as Engaging Networks' Privacy Policy, as well as our own. 

The big question – what we do with the data 

We use these details: 

  • To give you a more personalised service and experience 
  • For internal record keeping, such as billing to improve our products and services 
  • To customise our Sites to your interests to contact you periodically, telephone you and/or send you promotional emails, texts, or mail about new products, services and special offers 
  • To update you about things we're doing that you might find interesting so you can be part of our research 

When you register with one of our Sites, we might send you a welcome email with your account details and with information that helps you to understand the Site, and how to be involved. 

While we hope you stick around for quite a while, you can unsubscribe or opt-out from our communications at any time using the link provided at bottom of all our emails, or by reaching out to our customer service team by calling 1800 069 552, or emailing ausconsumer@choice.com.au 

Where we share your information 

We share non-identifiable data with third parties such as Google, Facebook, AB Tasty and others. Our main technology service providers are Netsuite, Zendesk, Sitecore, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Stripe, Payshield, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Facebook, BazaarVoice, Usabilla, Engaging Networks, Vision Critical and Crazy Egg. Information submitted through our Site is shared with the Software as a Service (SaaS) third-party service providers who provide a service for us. Our service providers have all passed strict organisational and technical security standards set up with your privacy in mind. We don't share your identifiable details with these third parties for marketing purposes. But we may release your information when we believe that it's appropriate to comply with the law; to enforce our site policies; or protect our or others' rights, property, or safety. We may also share non-personally identifiable visitor information with other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses. 

At all times we use our best endeavours to ensure that any recipients of your information will not be in breach of this privacy statement, and that your privacy is protected. Please note that CHOICE has a statutory requirement to maintain a register of voting members. This document isn't published, but is publicly accessible on request. Any person nominating for voting membership should be aware that upon acceptance of their nomination by the board of CHOICE, their name, address and email address will be added to this register. 

Security and keeping your personal details safe 

We know this is a big deal. That's why we've put in place physical, electronic and managerial procedures to secure any information collected online from misuse, interference or loss.  

Credit card security 

Here are the steps we take to protect your details:  

  1. If we send you a renewal notice most, but not all, of the numbers on your credit card will be masked. This masking of details is consistent with a worldwide payment card industry data security standard. To ensure security, your credit card details aren’t held by us, but stored securely by our bank. 
  2. All details, including credit card information, submitted through the Site passes through our secure payment gateway, which offers AES-256 encryption. 
  3.  If you call our Customer Service team to make a payment, your phone call will be passed through a secure line using Payshield to mask your dial tone. You can then enter your credit card details securely, via the keypad on your phone. These details will be passed through our secure payment gateway which offers AES-256 encryption. 
 

In the box – our servers 

Our main servers are located in Australia. Our suppliers have servers based in Australia and overseas. 

As part of doing business in the online world, your information may be accessible to the owners of these servers, but not in an identifiable format. Your information is stored on third party servers for the purposes of storage only. We do our best to ensure that any recipients of your information will not be in breach of this Statement. 

Information in the cloud 

When this information is stored in a cloud, or you access an app, we've adopted a privacy-by-design approach. Part of the contracting process is making sure these suppliers and their employees and service providers abide by the Australian Privacy Principles and the Spam Act 2003. You should know that if you're accessing our information from third party sites, the privacy policy of those sites applies, not our own. 

How we use cookies 

Nope, not biscuits. A cookie is a text file containing a small amount of data which is downloaded to your computer or digital device when you visit one of the Sites or see one of our ads on the internet. 

Cookies and tracking technologies are everywhere. We use cookies to improve and tailor our website to your needs. They're useful because they help us arrange the content and layout of our Sites and recognise computers or devices that have visited us before. The cookie file also helps us better analyse our web traffic. This information doesn't identify you personally, and is used for statistical analysis and to help us personalise the content we deliver to you. 

And we don't have to use them. 

Your browser has probably automatically accepted cookies, but you can usually modify your settings to decline cookies. Note that if you do that, this might stop you from taking full advantage of our Sites. Read more on cookies and how to delete them. 

We may contact third-party service providers to help us understand our Site visitors better. These service providers aren't allowed to use the information they collect on our behalf, other than to help us conduct and improve our business.  

How we use our data 

One or more of our Sites use Google Analytics (GA), a service which transmits website traffic data to Google servers. GA doesn't identify you personally, or associate your IP address with any other data held by Google, third party platforms and/or cloud-based services. 

We use data provided by GA to help us understand the usage habits of users and members. To keep your details anonymous, we'll only provide GA with our internal IDs or web visitor IDs. Those IDs don't provide any identifiable personal information. The information we share with GA is only identifiable within our systems. Outside of our systems, the information can't be attached to any particular member or user. 

Other websites, platforms and technology 

We're also present on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. We hope you join the conversation there, but it's important to know if you "follow" us, "like" or "share" information you'll be covered by that site's privacy policy and not our own. And if you're a member of one of these sites, they may be able to connect your visits to one or more sites with other personal information. 

Our Sites may also contain links to other websites we think will improve your reading experience. Once you've jumped ship, please remember we don't have any control over that other website and we don't endorse or condone its content or actions. 

We don't sell, trade, or otherwise transfer your personally identifiable information to outside parties. However, this doesn't include trusted third party service providers who help us: operate one or more of our Sites; conduct our business; or service you. These third parties must keep your information confidential and meet the strict organisational and technical security standards CHOICE sets up. 

We have limited control over information you give when visiting other sites that's not governed by this Privacy Statement. So be alert, but not alarmed, and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website. 

The reins are in your hands 

You're able to restrict the collection or use of your personal information at any time. 

If you've previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you can change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing the Privacy Officer at privacy@choice.com.au. 

Compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act 

CHOICE Sites and our products and services are intended for people who are at least 13 years old. If you’re accessing this website within the USA and you are under 13 years old, please refrain from using this site. 

If you're unhappy 

We hope you're not, but if you believe any of our services breach the Australian Privacy Principles, or a relevant code, please write to the Privacy Officer at CHOICE at 57 Carrington Road, Marrickville, NSW, 2204 Australia, or email us at privacy@choice.com.au.

We'll reply to your complaint as soon as possible, no later than 30 calendar days. If you think we haven't adequately addressed your complaint, or you receive no response after 30 calendar days, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Read the official guide for more details. If you have general questions that aren't connected to privacy, please contact the site you're using directly. 

This document was last updated 30 October 2020, and seeks to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles 2014 and the Mobile Privacy Guidelines September 2013 published by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.