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The Separation Guide Pty Ltd (ACN 636 755 872) (The Separation Guide, us/we/our) treats the privacy and security of your personal information very seriously.

This Privacy Policy (Policy) describes how The Separation Guide collects, uses, transfers and discloses the personal information that we collect from you when you access and use Our Products and Services, including:

  • our website, located at theseparationguide.com.au (Website);
  • our Q&A platform on our Website, which is designed to connect you with the people and services that you may need to manage your divorce and/or separation process (Q&A Platform);
  • our “Guided Separation” mediation service for assisting with the divorce and/or separation process (Mediation Service); and
  • our other products and services.

We are bound to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act).  We have adopted internal policies and procedures to ensure that the personal information that we collect, store, use and disclose is dealt with in accordance with the Privacy Act.  References to “personal information” have the same meaning as in the Privacy Act (which generally covers any information or opinion which reasonably identifies a person).

If we change the terms of this Policy, we will display the changes on the Website, or otherwise notify you in writing.

How do we collect your personal information?

The Separation Guide may collect your personal information in the following ways:

  • where you have requested Our Products and Services;
  • where you have enquired about Our Products and Services or otherwise communicated with us in person, in writing or by telephone;
  • through the use of browser “cookies” or trackers when you access our Website;
  • where you or another user of the Q&A Platform provides your personal information to us;
  • when you attend an event hosted by us;
  • from third parties from whom we have purchased your personal information, such as network members; and
  • in such other situations, where we collect personal information that is reasonably necessary for the proper supply of Our Products and Services.

If you supply us with any personal information that we did not solicit, and that information is not reasonably necessary for one of our functions or activities, we will destroy or de-identify that information as soon as practicable after it has been provided to us.

What personal information do we collect?

The types of personal information we collect depends on your relationship with us and the nature of your interaction with us. In general, The Separation Guide may collect the following types of personal information:

  • name, addresses, postcodes, e-mail addresses, contact phone numbers, marital or relationship status, partner’s name, details about your financial position and assets you hold; and
  • other personal information that you may voluntarily provide to us in using the Website, Q&A Platform or by otherwise communicating with us.

You may elect not to provide any personal information to us, or use a pseudonym. If this occurs, you acknowledge that it may impact on our ability to provide you with Our Products and Services and correspond with you.

Do we collect sensitive information?

We may, but typically do not, collect sensitive information from you. Sensitive information is a sub-set of personal information that includes information or an opinion about your sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origin or religious beliefs, or information about your health.

We collect sensitive information only where reasonably necessary to provide Our Products and Services to you.

Where it is practicable to do so, we will seek your consent before we collect any sensitive information from you for the purposes described above. Your consent to the collection of sensitive information may be implied in the circumstances

How will we use your personal information?

If you supply your personal information to us, we may collect, hold and use that information for the following purposes:

  • as necessary to provide Our Products and Services to you, including the Q&A Platform and its functionality;
  • to provide that information to third parties within our network that are skilled in providing services relevant to managing the divorce and/or separation process in Australia, such as lawyers, financial advisors, mediators and accountants (Network Members), where you have requested to hear from those third parties;
  • to fulfil any legal obligations we have in relation to your personal information;
  • to inform you of any updates to Our Products and Services or changes to the Policy; and
  • for any other secondary purposes where you might reasonably expect us to use your personal information, which are related to the primary purposes listed above.

We may share information, which was originally personal information that we collected from you, in a depersonalised or aggregated form with third parties.  We will only do this in circumstances where that information cannot be used to identify you personally.

We will not disclose your personal information for reasons other than those listed above unless:

  • you have consented to that specific disclosure;
  • there are reasonable grounds to believe that disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a threat to your life or health or that of another person;
  • the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim; or
  • the disclosure is permitted, required or authorised under the Privacy Act or by law.
How do we store your personal information and for how long?

The Separation Guide stores your personal information using third party platforms and cloud storage service providers (Third Party Providers). Our Third Party Providers adopt a variety of reasonable safeguards to protect personal information which they store on our behalf from misuse or unauthorised access or disclosure.

Further, we take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse or unauthorised access or disclosure, for example by restricting access to your personal information to authorised personnel only, and implementing password protection to access personal information (with those passwords required to be kept secure by authorised personnel). However, data security measures can never be guaranteed and there are inherent risks in transmitting any information, including your personal information, over the internet.

We will only retain your personal information for as long as we have a genuine business need to do so. For example, we will retain your personal information while we are providing you with Our Products and Services. Once we no longer need to retain your personal information, we will destroy or de-identify that information, unless we are required by law to retain it.

Do we use your personal information for the purposes of marketing?

Your personal information may be used by us to:

  • market and offer Our Products and Services to you;
  • allow Network Members to contact you to market their services to you (where you have requested our Network Members to contact you);
  • notify you of new developments and updates to Our Products and Services; and/or
  • make other promotional communications to you, including by e-mail or telephone.

If you do not wish to receive direct marketing communications:

We will not disclose your personal information to third parties to enable those parties to directly market their products or services to you unless you have expressly consented to that disclosure (for example, by requesting that our Network Members contact you).

We will not use your sensitive information for direct marketing purposes unless you have consented to the use of your information for direct marketing purposes.

Do we send your personal information to third parties located outside of Australia? 

If you supply your personal information to us, it may be stored by our Third Party Providers via digital cloud storage or web hosting services. As our Third Party Providers operate globally, we cannot say with certainty where their servers are located or the countries out of which they operate at any given time. Further, these locations may be subject to change without notice to us.

By supplying your personal information to us, you consent to storage of your personal information on digital cloud storage or web hosting servers located anywhere in the world.

We will not disclose your personal information to any party located outside of Australia without your express prior consent (other than for the purpose of storing that information on our behalf).

Do we collect personal information through cookies or trackers?

When you visit our Website, we may collect information about your computer/device, IP address, location, pages viewed on our Website, and time spent on our Website, using browser “cookies”. These are small text files placed on your device.

We collect information from cookies to improve the operation of our Website, to direct you to the most appropriate content and to remember your preferences for the next time you access our Website. You are able to opt-out of cookie technology through changing the settings on your browser.  However, this may affect the way you experience our Website.

We may use the following analytics services:

  • Google Analytics – This service collects data about our Website users as part of our information gathering processes (for further details, see google.com/analytics/). Google Analytics only provides us with aggregated data and does not identify any user personally.
  • Facebook Pixel – This service collects data about your interactions with our Website by using “tracking pixels”. This data is then used to serve targeted advertisements for Our Products and Services to you and others on Facebook, and measure the success of our Facebook advertising campaigns by reporting on the actions people take after clicking our advertisements on Facebook. Any data disclosed to us by this service cannot be used to identify you personally. You can opt-out of receiving targeted advertisements on Facebook through the settings on your Facebook account.

We do not merge any personal information we have collected from you with data obtained through browser cookies, Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics.

Are we responsible for the privacy practices of third parties?

This Policy applies solely to personal information we collect from you. We are not responsible for the collection of personal information and/or the privacy practices of any third parties, including by our Network Members, analytics services used on our Website, or websites which may be linked on our Website.

For more information about how relevant third parties will collect, store and use your personal information, you should read their privacy policies.

How can I access or correct my personal information? 

You may request a copy of your personal information that we hold.

We may refuse to provide you with a copy of your personal information that we hold, in certain circumstances set out in the Privacy Act.

We also reserve the right to charge you for the reasonable expenses that we may incur in preparing and sending you a copy of your personal information that we hold.

We will take reasonable steps to correct any of your personal information that we hold where the information is inaccurate or out of date, or you have requested us to correct the information.

If we refuse your request to provide you with a copy of your personal information that we hold, or correct your personal information that we hold, we will give you written notice of our refusal with supporting reasons.

Family Dispute Resolution Privacy

This is very important as privacy and confidentiality are of crucial importance in mediation and Guided Separation.

Our Mediators must adhere to the rules as required by Australian Law.

Specifically:

Family dispute resolution (FDR) practitioners must not disclose a communication made in FDR unless the disclosure is required or authorised under the Family Law Act.

An FDR practitioner must disclose a communication made in FDR if he or she reasonably believes that the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of complying with a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory (eg to comply with legislation requiring mandatory disclosure of suspected child abuse).

An FDR practitioner may disclose a communication made in FDR if he or she reasonably believes that the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of:

  1. protecting a child from the risk of physical or psychological harm
  2. preventing or lessening a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person
  3. reporting the commission, or preventing the likely commission, of an offence involving violence or a threat of violence to a person
  4. preventing or lessening a serious and imminent threat to the property of a person
  5. reporting the commission, or preventing the likely commission, of an offence involving intentional damage to the property of a person or a threat of damage to property
  6. assisting an independent children’s lawyer to properly represent a child’s interests.

In addition, an FDR practitioner may disclose a communication, with the consent of the person who made the disclosure where that person is an adult, or, where the disclosure was made by a child who is under 18, if parents consent to the disclosure. If agreement cannot be reached, the matter may be referred to the court for decision.

An FDR practitioner may also make disclosures in order to provide information for research relevant to families, as long as the information provided does not constitute ‘personal information’ as defined in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1988. ‘Personal information’ is information, or an opinion, from which an individual’s identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained.

In terms of inadmissibility, according to the Family Law Act, ‘evidence of anything said, or any admission made, by or in the company of, an FDR practitioner is not admissible.’ Therefore, provided an accredited FDR practitioner is conducting or supervising the process, the inadmissibility provisions will apply.

Compliance with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

As a business, The Separation Guide does not target its offering toward and does not knowingly collect any personal information or data from users under 13 years of age.

How to contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about our handling of your personal information or this Policy, please contact us (addressed to the Privacy Officer) by e-mail at support@theseparationguide.com.au or by post at Level 1, 196 Faraday Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia.

If you have a complaint or a privacy-related concern in relation to our business or this Policy, please provide us with the opportunity to resolve the matter by contacting us using the method outlined above. Once we have received a complaint or privacy-related concern, we will try to work with you to resolve the matter.

For further information on privacy laws in Australia, you may wish to visit the website of the Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC): www.oaic.gov.au.