Skip to Content

Privacy notice

What is this notice about?

1.1 This privacy notice applies to the Department of Communities and Justice, also known as DCJ (the Department), which consists of the following entities:

  • Community Services
  • DCJ Housing
  • Strategy and Policy
  • Corporate Services
  • Home Care Service,

(collectively, we or us).

1.2 This privacy notice describes how we manage the personal information and health information that we collect about you.  The NSW Government’s privacy practices in collecting, storing, using and disclosing personal information and health information are regulated by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW), the Privacy Code of Practice (General) 2003 (NSW) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) (together the NSW Privacy Laws).  These laws have privacy principles that tell us things like:

  • what information we can collect and how we collect it;
  • how we should store and protect your personal information and health information;
  • how you can find out what personal information or health information we hold about you and correct it if it is wrong;
  • how we can use and disclose your personal information and health information; and
  • how you can complain about breaches of your privacy.

1.3 We comply with the requirements of the NSW Privacy Laws with respect to the collection, management and disclosure of your personal information and health information. Further information on our privacy policies can be found:

You can also access the easy English version of this privacy notice

What information do we collect?

2.1 When used in this notice, the terms “personal information” and “health information” have the meanings given to them in the NSW Privacy Laws.  In general terms, personal information means any information or an opinion that is about you.  This may include your name, address, telephone number or email address. If the information we collect personally identifies you, or you are reasonably identifiable from it, the information will be considered personal information.

2.2 Similarly, health information broadly means personal information that is information or an opinion about your physical or mental health, any disabilities you may have, your express wishes about the provision of future health services, or about health services provided to you or that are to be provided to you.

2.3 We collect personal information from you in the course of your use of the MyHousing portal by way of the MyHousing Website and/or associated mobile applications (together, the Portal).  This information includes:

  • your contact details, including telephone numbers, email address, postal address and emergency contact details;
  • information about your use of the Portal which is automatically recorded by us and identifies, for each page on the Portal that you access:
    • the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the machine used to access that page;
    • the IP address of your server;
    • the date and time of your visit;
    • the pages accessed and documents downloaded from the Portal;
    • the previous site that you visited; and
    • the type of browser and/or operating system that you have used to access the Portal.

2.4 We may also collect other types of personal information and health information about you via the Portal in connection with MyHousing services.  These services include the submission and assessment of housing applications, making online payments, accessing “AskIzzy” and “Link2Home”, lodging maintenance requests and providing feedback to DCJ.

2.5 The Portal will provide notification of the information we are seeking to collect in connection with MyHousing services.  For example, if you use a MyHousing mobile application to progress an application for housing, we may ask you to provide information via the app to support your application.  This may include personal information and health information such as proof of income, proof of identity, information about your health needs and information about your current housing circumstances.  The full list of information we might request in connection with a housing application can be downloaded here.

How and why do we collect your personal information and health information?

3.1 We may collect your personal information and heath information when you use the Portal, when you communicate with us and when information is submitted to us via the Portal in connection with MyHousing.

3.2 If you use the Portal to respond to a request for information from us (e.g. to progress a housing application), you may find that the Portal does not restrict you in the type of documents that you can upload in response to that request. However, we only solicit the information that we expressly ask you to provide (e.g. proof of income or proof of identity).  Any other information you provide via the Portal, whether on purpose or accidentally, will be treated as unsolicited.

3.3 We will usually collect personal information or health information that relates to you directly from you.  However, we may also collect this information from third parties in accordance with, and in circumstances permitted by, the NSW Privacy Laws or other applicable legislation.

3.4 It is very important that you take note of the following requirements before submitting personal information or health information to us:

  • Confidentiality:  Consider whether any information you are planning to submit to us is the subject of any confidentiality obligations.  For example, if you are about to submit a copy of a contract, check to make sure that the terms of the contract allow you to show us a copy of it.  You should only provide us with information via the Portal if you have all necessary rights to do so.
  • Information about people aged under 16:  If you are under the age of 16, we ask that information about you be provided on your behalf by your parent or guardian.  If that is not possible under the circumstances, we ask that the agency or organisation assisting with your application provide information to us on your behalf.
  • Information about other people:  You must only provide us with information about a person aged over 16 (like your emergency contact or any other person listed on a housing application) if that person has authorised you to give us that information.  You must also show that person this notice in advance so that they understand how their information may be used.
  • Tax file numbers:  The Department does not require, and does not solicit the collection of, your tax file number.  In some cases, you may be asked to provide us with a copy of a tax notice of assessment, for example if we need to ask you to verify your income as part of a housing application.  If you are planning to submit a document to us that contains your tax file number, please redact the number from the document in advance.  Any tax file numbers that we receive will be treated as unsolicited information.
  • If you are providing information to us to obtain housing support in relation to the commission or possible commission of a domestic violence offence, please take particular note of the following:
    • If you are providing information to us:
      • about an apprehended violence order that has been sought or made for your protection; or
      • that relates to a charge for a domestic violence offence against you,

and that information identifies the alleged perpetrator, you do not need to tell that person in advance or obtain their consent before providing us with the information for the purposes of seeking housing support.

  • If you are planning to provide information:
    • about an apprehended violence order or a charge for a domestic violence offence and you are not the person in whose favour the order was sought or made, or the person alleged to be the victim of the offence; or
    • about personal or domestic violence that does not involve an apprehended violence order (whether sought or made) or a charge for a domestic violence offence,

please ensure that all details that may identify the alleged perpetrator (e.g. their name, their photograph etc) are removed in advance.

3.5 Individuals who lack capacity to provide information: If an individual lacks the capacity to provide information that we need in order to provide services (like housing assistance) to that individual, we may collect the information from certain other people, like the individual’s guardian, attorney or spouse.  Under these circumstances, we have responsibilities under the NSW Privacy Laws to consult those third parties before taking certain steps in the use or disclosure of the individual’s personal information.  We are also responsible for making certain records available to those third parties.

How will we use your personal information and health information?

4.1 We collect your personal information and health information for the following purposes:

  • in respect of personal information or health information about you in connection with our MyHousing services:
    • to manage our relationship with you and to contact you;
    • to update our records and keep your details up to date;
    • to assess applications for housing assistance;
    • in connection with the provision of other MyHousing services, including the assessment of an individual’s suitability for those services; and
    • to comply with any information collection, management and disclosure requirements we are required to abide by, including requirements at law; and
  • in respect of personal information about your use of the Portal:
    • within the Department as a whole to plan, coordinate and improve the way we provide services;
    • for aggregation with other similar logged information and for publication in reports in order for DCJ to identify patterns of usage of the Portal; and
    • to assist us in improving the Portal and the services offered on it.

4.2 We may also use the information we collect from you as permitted by applicable laws.

Who will we disclose your personal information and health information to?

5.1 The personal information and health information we collect about you will be held by the entity within the Department that collects it.

5.2 We may disclose your personal information:

  • to DCJ employees where required in the normal course of their duties and in accordance with applicable laws;
  • to external organisations and agencies where there is a lawful reason or basis to do so, such as:
    • where authorised under the NSW Privacy Laws or other applicable laws or codes;
    • where a direction has been made by the NSW Information Commissioner; or
    • where there is a current signed authority of disclosure;
  • to another person or body where we are otherwise legally authorised to do so, including where:
    • the disclosure is directly related to the purpose for which the personal information or health information was collected and DCJ has no reason to believe that you would object to that disclosure;
    • you are reasonably likely to have been made aware (including via this notice) that the information is usually disclosed to that person or body;
    • DCJ believes, on reasonable grounds, that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person; or
    • you have given us your consent to the disclosure.

5.3 When personal information or health information about you is submitted to us in connection with MyHousing services, we may disclose that information to other agencies, including for the purposes of assessing an application for services or coordinating service delivery.

5.4 We will not disclose your personal information or health information to members of the public unless there is a lawful reason for us to do so.

5.5 DCJ collects information relating to your use of the Portal on its own computers.  Access to the raw data is restricted to a limited number of officers in DCJ for the purpose of analysis and to report on the success of DCJ in meeting its communication and access objectives.

5.6 By using the Portal, you agree that staff may disclose information relating to your use of the Portal in joint meetings with other agencies where a Service Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or similar document is in place and the NSW Privacy Laws permit that disclosure, or when seeking the professional opinion of another staff member.  DCJ staff members will not disclose personal information about you where that information is not relevant to the matter being discussed.

When might we collect, use and disclose information more extensively?

6.1 Without limiting any of our rights under applicable laws, DCJ will collect, use and disclose information more extensively if there are:

  • unauthorised attempts to access files which are not published DCJ pages;
  • unauthorised tampering or interference with files published on the Portal;
  • unauthorised attempts to index the contents of the Portal;
  • attempts to intercept messages of other users of the Portal;
  • communications which are defamatory, abusive, which vilify individuals or groups or which give rise to a suspicion that an offence is being committed; or
  • attempts to otherwise compromise the security of the Portal’s web server, breach the laws of the State of New South Wales or the Commonwealth of Australia or interfere with the enjoyment of the Portal by other users.

6.2 For example, DCJ reserves the right to make disclosures to relevant authorities where the use of the Portal raises a suspicion that an offence is being, or has been, committed.  In the event of an investigation, DCJ will also provide access to data to any law enforcement agency that may exercise a warrant to inspect our logs.

What happens if you do not provide your personal information or health information?

7.1 You do not have to provide us with your personal information or health information. However, if you choose not to provide us with the personal information or health information that we request, we may not be able to provide the services or assistance that you may seek.  For example, you may not be able to use the Portal if you do not provide us with certain personal information that we request. We may also be unable to provide you with other services, like housing assistance, or assess your suitability for those services.

Accuracy of your personal information and health information

8.1 We are required to take reasonable care to ensure that your personal information and health information is relevant, accurate, up-to-date, complete and not misleading.

8.2 From time to time, we may ask that you refresh any personal information or health information you have previously provided us.  This is to ensure that the information we hold about you remains current.

8.3 Before you provide us with personal information or health information, we require that you also ensure that the information is relevant, accurate, up-to-date, complete and not misleading.  If you need to correct information that you have already submitted to us, you can do so in accordance with clauses 11 and 12 of this notice.

Storage and security of your personal information and health information

9.1 Personal information and health information that we collect is stored in an appropriately secure format by taking such security safeguards as are reasonable in the circumstances against loss and unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or other misuse.

Google Analytics and Firebase

10.1 The Portal uses Google Analytics (for the MyHousing Website) and Firebase (for the associated mobile applications).  These are services which transmit Portal traffic data to Google servers in the United States.  Google Analytics and Firebase do not identify individual users or associate individual IP addresses with any other data held by Google.

10.2 For more information about this, see Google’s Privacy Policy.

10.3 We use reports provided by Google Analytics and Firebase to help us understand Portal traffic and usage.  The information collected during each visit is aggregated with similar logged information and published in reports so that DCJ can identify patterns of usage of the Portal.  This assists us in improving the site and the services offered on it.

10.4 DCJ will not disclose or publish information that identifies individual machines, or potentially identifies sub-groupings of addresses, without consent and otherwise will act in accordance with NSW Privacy Laws in respect of that information.

Access and correction of your personal information and health information

11.1 At your request, we will provide you with access to the personal information or health information that we hold about you in connection with your use of the Portal. We will provide you with that access without undue delay or expense.  We may require some proof of identity before we provide you with access.

11.2 At your request, we will make appropriate amendments to the personal information or health information that we hold about you to ensure that it is accurate, relevant, up-to-date, complete and not misleading.  If we are not prepared to amend your information, we will (if you request it) take such steps as are reasonable to attach to the information a statement provided by you explaining the amendment that you have sought.

Contact details

12.1 The Department of Communities and Justice collects and holds your personal information and health information.  You may contact us at:

Will this privacy notice be updated over time?

13.1 Due to the developing nature of privacy principles for online communication, this notice may be modified or expanded in light of new developments and issues that may arise from time to time.  Please check this notice regularly for updates

Was this content useful?
Last updated: 01 Jun 2020