Understanding the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and practicing its principles is the responsibility of each employee of The Johnson Real Estate Group and associated entities. Every employee needs to be familiar with the provisions of the National Privacy Principles (NPPs).
Under the Privacy Act, information falls under two different categories:
Personal Information refers information or an opinion, true or not, recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonable be ascertained from the information. The most obvious examples of personal information are names, marital status, medical information, taxation information, addresses, email addresses, income, credit card or banking details.
Sensitive Information is information about a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, membership of a trade union, professional or trade association, sexual preference, criminal record, health information etc
Personal information is collected in our capacity as agents. We are permitted to collect this information if we ensure the customer or client is given the appropriate privacy collection notice.
However, we do not collect sensitive information as agents at any stage from clients or customers.
The Johnson Real Estate Groups Information Protection Principles are:
- Personal information is to be collected for a lawful purpose directly related to an agency’s functions.
- Personal information is to be collected directly from the individual concerned, unless they authorise otherwise.
- The individual is to be informed why the information is being collected, who will get it, whether supply is mandatory or voluntary and their right to access and correct it.
- Personal information collected is to be relevant and not intrude to an unreasonable extent on the personal affairs of the individual.
Information is to be kept protected by reasonable security safeguards and protected from unauthorised use or disclosure.
- Individuals are to be provided with sufficient information about the agency’s holdings of personal information to enable them to exercise their rights to correct information about themselves.
- Individuals are to have access to personal information about themselves without unreasonable delay and expense.
- The Johnson Real Estate Group will comply with individual requests to amend their personal to ensure that it is relevant, up to date, complete and not misleading.
- Reasonable steps are taken to ensure the accuracy of personal information before using it.
- Personal information is to be used only for the purpose for which it was collected or a directly related purpose, for a purpose to which the individual has consented, or where the use is necessary to prevent or lessen the threat to someone’s life or health.
Disclose of personal information is only permitted for a purpose directly related to the purpose of collection where the individual is unlikely to object, or where the individual has been put on notice that information is usually disclosed in this way. Or where the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a threat to someone’s life or health.
Special restrictions are to be observed:
- Not disclosing personal information about a person’s ethnic or racial origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, Health or sexual activities unless disclosure is necessary to lessen a threat to life or health
- Only disclosing information to external individuals or organisations under approved circumstances.
The Johnson Real Estate Group’s Privacy Procedures
As well as being familiar with our Privacy Principles, all employees must be familiar with The Johnson Real Estate Group’s own Privacy procedures.
- Should a client or customer ask to view information from their file, identification should be provided before access is gained. This should be carried out in the presence of a staff member, ensuring that only information relevant to that particular party is viewed, rather than an entire file which may contain information of a private nature referring to other third parties.
- It is important to ensure that when you bring a client into the agency, you ensure that no information regarding other clients or customers will be on view on your desk or computer.
- No personal information can be given out about any of our clients (landlords or vendors) or our customer (tenants or purchasers) without receiving their permission.
- If another real estate agency requests details regarding a tenancy reference, we are not able to give out the information without first receiving a copy of the Application for Tenancy which should show the tenant’s permission to give out details of their tenancy.
- When information that we are holding is no longer required, it must be destroyed or permanently de-identified. There is a shredder available in the office for this purpose.
- If you are talking on your mobile phones outside of the office, please consider Privacy aspects and be sure not to disclose personal information that may be over heard by others.
- When in the office, ensure that any discussions with clients or customers that may involve privacy issues are carried out in a private setting.