Your privacy is important to us. This Privacy Statement describes how we collect, use, store and disclose personal information when you interact with Engage Victoria.

In this Privacy Statement, ‘personal information’ has the same meaning as that given in section 3 of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014: “information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), that is recorded in any form and whether true or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion, but does not include information of a kind to which the Health Records Act 2001 applies.

Additionally, this privacy statement describes how we collect, use, store and disclose other types of information that does not, on its own, constitute personal information. We recommend that you read this Privacy Statement because it applies to everyone who visits our website.

Engage Victoria is the Victorian Government's online consultation service used by departments and agencies to publish their consultations online. The service is provided by the Department of Premier and Cabinet and supported by Harvest Digital Planning. It provides an opportunity for citizens to be involved in public decisions that affect them.

Our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information is bound by the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) (PDP Act). We will only collect and use personal information in accordance with the PDP Act and the Information Privacy Principles.

By providing personal information and/or continuing to use Engage Victoria you consent to your personal information being collected, used and disclosed in accordance with this Privacy Statement and you also agree to Engage Victoria's Terms of Use and Community Guidelines. Departments and agencies conducting consultations through Engage Victoria will provide a collection notice on their consultation page when collecting personal information.

There are links to other websites on Engage Victoria. If you click on one of those links, you will leave the Engage Victoria website. This Privacy Statement does not apply to any other website and we recommend you review the other website’s privacy statement when you access it.

What information do we collect?

We collect information about you and your use of Engage Victoria. The type of information we collect will vary depending on how you interact with the service. Engage Victoria will only collect personal information if it is necessary for the provision of services or to carry out Engage Victoria’s functions. We will always take reasonable steps to collect your personal information directly from you.

Registering for the service

Users can register for Engage Victoria via email or Facebook to receive email updates from the service.

To register you need to provide:

  • username and password
  • email address
  • if you choose to register via Facebook, your username, Facebook account ID and email address.

Optional registration information includes:

  • topics of interest and projects about which you have indicated an interest in receiving future email updates
  • postcode – this is used for aggregated reporting on platform reach across Victoria.

If you register or log in to Engage Victoria via Facebook, we will:

  • verify your details with Facebook
  • collect and store your email address as part of your Engage Victoria account. If requested, password reset instructions are sent to this email address.
  • access your first and last name to pre-populate the screen name field in the Engage Victoria registration form. This can be changed prior to creating your account or at any time by accessing your profile.

Engage Victoria does not collect or store Facebook profile pictures or user Facebook activity.

Participating in a consultation

Consultations on Engage Victoria are conducted by project teams from departments and agencies across Victoria. They use tools provided by the service (e.g. forms, forums and maps) to collect user feedback.

Depending on the nature of the consultation, project teams may collect the following information to support their consultation process:

  • where provided by a user, information that could include full name, gender, post code, address, phone number, email address and age bracket.
  • content that you post on Engage Victoria such as comments, votes, ideas, formal submissions, survey, mapping information (e.g. latitude and longitude) and poll responses.

Departments and agencies conducting consultations will provide a collection notice each time when collecting personal information. This will explain:

a) who is collecting it and for what purpose
b) the fact that you can access and modify the information
c) who they disclose the information to
d) any law that requires the particular information to be collected
e) the main consequences (if any) for you if all or part of the information is not provided.

Correspondence

Any user feedback or correspondence provided to Engage Victoria, including but not limited to emails, text messages, phone calls, postal mail or in-person conversations, received about a specific consultation will be disclosed to the department or agency conducting the consultation.

We will retain any user feedback or correspondence that you send to us in accordance with the Victorian Public Records Act 1973. We will store this information in a secure area within our message services system and will use it in accordance with the Act or as required or authorised by law.

Service improvement

We collect the following information about your visit to the Engage Victoria website in order to improve the service. We collect clickstream data and visitor logs to measure visitation numbers and record:

  • your server IP address
  • the date, time and duration of your visit
  • the pages that you access within Engage Victoria including how long you spend on each
  • your route through Engage Victoria (the sequence of pages and other content that you visit)
  • any documents, images or videos that you download from the service
  • the immediately previous website that you visited
  • the type of browser and device that you used.
  • Hotjar feedback you submit on the user experience and performance of the site.

Information collected on unregistered users for service improvement is de-identified. We will not attempt to identify you except when required by law to do so.

How will we use your personal information?

The Department of Premier and Cabinet uses your personal information to undertake the following functions on Engage Victoria:

Registering for the service

  • administer the site and manage your account
  • identify when you sign into your account
  • send you email newsletters and information, but only when you have agreed to us sending you this information or when the information is necessary to assist with the administration of the site

Participating in a consultation

  • liaise with departments and agencies to respond to your queries
  • where collected in line with a consultation specific collection notice or through site registration, attribute content that you post on the site to you.

Protecting the integrity of a consultation process

The Department of Premier and Cabinet may use personal information to confirm your identify in order to protect the integrity of the consultation process, including:

  • reviewing feedback, emails and other information from individuals and groups attempting to unduly influence the outcomes of a consultation process (e.g. spamming or astroturfing)
  • using it to protect the site from spam, bots (autonomous programs) and trolls.

Service improvement

  • analyse use of the site to inform ongoing improvements and enhancements
  • improve the promotion of consultations.

Other

  • for any other related purposes that we may disclose to you in a collection notice when we request your personal information

We may also disclose personal information, and you consent to us disclosing your personal information, with third parties, including other Victorian government departments, in accordance with the PDP Act or for the purposes set out in this Privacy Statement.

What’s publicly available and what’s not?

Not all of the information that you provide to us can be viewed by other users of Engage Victoria.

Publicly available information

Content that you post on the site publicly can be viewed by everyone who uses the site. Each post will contain your username, any personal information you have entered into a post, and any publicly available reports from consultations, and may include quotes from participants in forums, surveys and other consultation tools.

Hidden information

We will not disclose to any users of the service:

  • your temporary password for Engage Victoria
  • any personal information provided by you in the course of consultations that you do not expressly provide permission to disclose
  • correspondence that you send to us using Engage Victoria contact information
  • information that you submit to specific consultations within Engage Victoria where the collection notice specifies that the information will be kept confidential.

Data collection tools

We collect the data and information outlined above including a combination of Google Analytics, server logs and tools within the functionality of the site, using data security protocols.

Where data in Google Analytics is stored offsite, we ensure this is depersonalised and cannot be used to identify specific individuals. Where data and information is collected via the site’s servers and tools, this is managed through our data security protocols and processes.

Automatic collection by third party software vendors

Engage Victoria uses several tools to measure website use, which are provided by third party software vendors. We use these tools to help us make our site better.

We use software by third parties, including:

For further information on how these third-party software vendors handle your personal information, please review their privacy policies. Personal information may be provided to third parties when accessing this website. Information that may be shared to third parties includes:

  • network location and IP address
  • the date and time of your visit to our website
  • the types of web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari) and operating system (e.g. Windows 10, Mac OS X etc.) you are using
  • Flash version, JavaScript support, screen resolution and screen colour processing ability
  • referring site details (such as the URL that you came through to arrive at our website)
  • page visited and the time spent on each page
  • documents downloaded and search terms used
  • forms accessed on our website
  • Personal identifiable information
  • Unique device identifier
  • cookies and data about which page you visited
  • device information, hardware model, operating system information, app version, app usage, debugging information, browser information
  • geo location information (if enabled by user)
  • may assign a unique user identifier.

Use of web analytics data

We use web analytics data to analyse, measure, and report on data about our website traffic. This information helps us understand general user trends at an aggregate level, and improve our website, content, and user experience.

We do not use this information to identify you or match it with any other personal information that we may collect from you, unless required to do so as part of an internal investigation or for a law enforcement-related purpose, in accordance with the PDP Act.

Your site visit data is collected under the authority of Information Privacy Principle 1.1 of the PDP Act for the purposes stated above.

Disclosure of web analytics data

Apart from the third-party tools described in this Privacy Statement, we do not disclose your site visit data to any other third parties without your consent, unless we are required or authorised to do so by law. In the event of an investigation into suspected unlawful or improper activity, a law enforcement or government agency may use its legal authority to inspect our web server’s records (e.g. in relation to hacking or abusive messages).

Can I opt out of the collection of web analytics data?

You cannot opt out of the automatic collection of information that is used for analytical purposes. However you may choose to disable cookies or delete any individual cookie. If you choose to disable cookies, the website may not function fully and your ability to browse, read and download information contained on our website may be impaired. However, you may still access our services by contacting our office via other methods such as telephone, email or mail.

You can enable a “Do Not Track” setting on your browser to help protect your privacy. When Do Not Track is turned on, your browser will send a Do Not Track request to the sites you visit and to the third parties whose content is hosted on those sites. However, many websites will still collect and use your browsing data regardless of the Do Not Track Request. This depends on individual sites’ privacy practices. Sending a Do Not Track request does not guarantee privacy protection.

Instructions on how to enable the Do Not Track setting:

Data quality, access and correction

We try to ensure that the personal information that we collect is accurate. If information that you have provided to us has changed, please support us to update our records by logging into your Engage Victoria account page where you can update your details. Alternatively, you can Contact us.

You may request access to, or correction of, documents that contain your personal information which are in our possession. For information on how to make a request for access or correction, please Contact us. In some cases, requests for access or correction will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).

Data security and destruction

Under the PDP Act, we have a responsibility to protect your personal information. We take reasonable steps to make sure that your personal information is protected from misuse, loss, and unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure.

Further, any personal information that we collect and use for identifying user trends is aggregated and anonymised when generating reports.

To protect your own privacy, your password for Engage Victoria should be kept confidential, and must not be displayed, shared or written down.

When will we contact you?

We may send you information and announcements from time to time by email or via social media networks.

You can choose to receive newsletters and other updates from us by email. If you choose this but then change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time by following the process set out in the emails and newsletters that we send you.

Changes to our Privacy Statement

We may update the content of this Privacy Statement from time to time for any reason. The updated version of the Privacy Statement will apply to you as soon as it is posted on the website, so we suggest that you regularly review the Privacy Statement.

What if you have a complaint?

If you wish to make a complaint about a breach of this Privacy Statement, please Contact us. We will investigate your complaint and determine what steps we will take to resolve your complaint.

Questions

If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Statement, or want to update your personal details held by the service, please Contact us.