The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (Blood Service) is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 as well as other laws that impose obligations regarding personal and health information. The Milk Bank by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (Milk Bank) is committed to protecting the privacy of personal and health information.
Why we collect information
Personal information in relation to the Milk Bank is collected and used by the Blood Service for the following purposes:
- to assess the eligibility of individuals to donate milk and to protect both donor health and safety and that of patients who receive the milk;
- to maintain contact with milk donors regarding past donations and for the purposes of future donations;
- for research and quality assurance purposes;
- to maintain contact with milk donors for the purposes of research, including market research, regarding milk donation and collection and participation in Blood Service activities; and
- to improve our processes.
What information we collect and hold
For the safety of both donors and the milk supply, the Blood Service needs to collect information about health, medical history, travel and certain high risk behaviours. The Blood Service will collect and hold the personal information supplied by you when you register or attend as a donor including in any donor interview, test results for each donation and any communication or correspondence with you.
We will only collect your personal information from someone else if we have your consent, or if it is authorised or required by law, or if it is unreasonable or impracticable for us to collect that information from you.
Disclosure of your information
The Blood Service will only use or disclose your personal information for the primary purposes for which it was collected (as set out above) or for directly related secondary purposes which you would reasonably expect (or that we have told you) or as permitted or required by law.
From time to time we may use or disclose aspects of your personal information for administrative processes such as risk management, education and training of staff, quality assurance activities and to monitor donor satisfaction. As a result, we, or someone we authorise, may contact you in the future to request your feedback about the Milk Bank.
If we provide your details to a third party acting on behalf of the Blood Service for these purposes, the third party will be subject to a confidentiality agreement and must only use your personal information for the purposes for which it was provided.
In some instances it may be necessary for the Blood Service to release personal information relating to your donation to our hospital customers, insurers and/or regulatory auditors. The hospitals, insurers and auditors will be required to hold this information in confidence.
The Blood Service will not sell your personal information.
Access to information
Individuals have a right to request access to their personal information and to request its correction. Should you wish to request any of the personal information we hold about you, please make a request to the Privacy Officer in your State or Territory using the form below.
Proof of identity will be required to ensure information is only disclosed to the relevant person. Some information may not be immediately available but we will attempt to deal with requests promptly.
If you believe any personal information we are holding is incorrect or incomplete please let us know by writing to the Privacy Officer in your State or Territory.
Collection, use and disclosure of personal information through the Milk Bank's website
You can access most parts of the Milk Bank website and browse anonymously without providing your personal information or without being identified. However, some of the functions of the website may require you to provide certain personal information.
When you email the Milk Bank with a query, the Blood Service will collect the personal information you provide. Subject to any exceptions within the privacy legislation, the Blood Service will not use or disclose this information for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query.
You can contact the Blood Service anonymously online or by calling the Milk Bank on 1300 459 040.
Storage and Retention
The Blood Service is a national organisation and as such all donor information will be accessible to all our Donor Centres and Processing Centres in Australia, but only to those staff members whose job responsibilities require such access.
Under Health Records Legislation in various States and Territories, we maintain donor records for as long as reasonably required for the purposes of the safety of donors and recipients.
Making a complaint
If you believe that your privacy has been infringed, please contact the Blood Service Privacy Officer in your State or Territory. If you are not satisfied with our response you can refer your complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner.
The Blood Service will not disclose information to an overseas entity except in circumstances where it is a permitted Health Situation or is otherwise permitted under the Privacy Act 1988.
This policy will be reviewed by the Blood Service every 2 years or more frequently if required by the Privacy Act or other relevant legislation.