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Will businesses, service providers or government agencies be breaching the Privacy Act by providing information to customers through the National Relay Service?

The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) generally allows for personal information to be discussed with individuals via the National Relay Service (NRS).

The Privacy Act specifically exempts the NRS’s relay officers from being considered ‘access seekers’. That means that under the Privacy Act, NRS relay officers are effectively not third parties in a phone call. As such, businesses, service providers and government agencies do not need an NRS user’s written or verbal permission to collect, use or disclose the NRS user’s personal information in the presence of or with the assistance of an NRS relay officer. Businesses, service providers and government agencies will not be breaching the Privacy Act by collecting, using or disclosing personal information with individuals through the NRS.

For more information, please contact us.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has also published FAQs about how the Disability Discrimination Act applies to the NRS at:  http://www.humanrights.gov.au/frequently-asked-questions-goods-services-and-facilities.