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Draft Privacy (Persons Reported as Missing) Rules 2014 for consultation

1 Name of Rules

These Rules are the Privacy (Persons Reported as Missing) Rules 2014.

2 Commencement

These Rules commence on 12 March 2014.

3 Purpose

  1. The Rules apply for the purposes of item 3 of the table in s 16A(1) of the Privacy Act 1988, which subject to conditions specified in the item in column 3 of the table, permits an APP entity to collect sensitive information, and use and disclose personal information for the purpose of locating a person reported as missing.

  2. The Rules do not permit an APP entity to use or disclose government related identifiers.

4 Definitions

  1. Unless these Rules state otherwise, any word or expression used in these Rules which is defined in the Privacy Act has the same meaning as in that Act.

  2. In these Rules:

    locating body means:

    1. the Australian Federal Police
    2. a police force or service of a State or Territory; or
    3. the Salvation Army Family Tracing Service; or
    4. the Australian Red Cross Tracing Service; or
    5. International Social Services; or
    6. Link Up Aboriginal Corporation; or
    7. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Office of the Australian Information Commissioner means the agency established under section 5 of the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010.

    person reported as missing means an individual:

    1. whose whereabouts are unknown; and
    2. who has been reported as missing to a locating body; and
    3. who is being sought because there are serious concerns for their safety and welfare or for the purpose of re-uniting the family

     but does not include an individual who is being sought:

    1. in relation to legal matters, including but not limited to, debt, maintenance, support proceedings, wills, child custody, divorce or investigations into suspected criminal activity of the individual; or
    2. for the purpose of genealogical research.

    Privacy Act means the Privacy Act 1988.

    Rules means the Privacy (Persons Reported as Missing) Rules 2014.

    Note: The following expressions are defined in the Privacy Act:

    • APP entity
    • collects
    • consent
    • individual
    • personal information
    • sensitive information

5 Collection of sensitive information by a locating body

  1. An APP entity may collect sensitive information under item 3 of the table in s 16A(1) about a person reported as missing if:
    1. the APP entity is a locating body; and
    2. the APP entity reasonably believes that the collection is reasonably necessary to assist the entity to locate the person reported as missing; and
    3. the information that is collected is limited to the extent reasonably necessary to make contact with, or to offer proof of life of, the person reported as missing; and
    4. rule 7 does not apply in relation to the collection.

6 Use or disclosure of personal information without the consent of the person reported as missing

  1. An APP entity may use or disclose personal information under item 3 of the table in s 16A(1) about a person reported as missing if:
    1. the use or disclosure of the information is in response to a request from a locating body; and
    2. the APP entity reasonably believes that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to assist the locating body to locate a person reported as missing; and
    3. in the case of a disclosure, the recipient of the information is a locating body; and
    4. it is unreasonable or impracticable to obtain the consent of the person reported as missing to the use or disclosure of the information; and
    5. the information that is used or disclosed is limited to the extent reasonably necessary to make contact with, or to offer proof of life of, the person reported as missing; and
    6. the use or disclosure is not contrary to any wish:
      1. expressed by the person reported as missing; and
      2. of which the APP entity is aware, or of which the APP entity could reasonably be expected to be aware; and
    7.  rule 7 does not apply in relation to the use or disclosure.

  2. If an APP entity uses or discloses personal information in accordance with sub-rule (1), the entity must make a written note of the use or disclosure.

7 Collection, use or disclosure must not pose a serious threat to an individual

An APP entity must not collect, use or disclose personal information about an individual under item 3 of the table in s 16A(1) if the APP entity reasonably believes that the collection, use or disclosure of the information would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual.

8 Operation of these Rules

  1. It is not the intention of these Rules to affect the operation of other laws that make provision with respect to the collection, use and disclosure of the personal information of a person reported as missing.

    Note: This includes Part VIA of the Privacy Act (Dealing with personal information in emergencies and disasters)

  2. Nothing in these Rules is to be taken to require an APP entity to collect, use or disclose personal information.