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 Blood Service is committed to protecting the privacy of personal and health information.
Why we collect information
Personal information is collected and used by the Blood Service for the following purposes:
- to assess the eligibility of individuals to donate blood and to protect both donor health and safety and the safety and sufficiency of blood and blood products;
- to maintain contact with donors regarding past donations and for the purposes of future donations;
- for research, including research regarding and research for the purposes of therapeutic benefit blood transfusion and blood safety;
- to maintain contact with donors for the purposes of research, including market research, regarding blood 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 blood 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 the donor interview, test results for each donation, details of any adverse events 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 Blood Service.
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 insurers and/or regulatory auditors. The 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 Blood Service’s website
You can access most parts of the Blood Service 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 Blood Service 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.
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 and Therapeutic Goods Legislation in various States and Territories, we maintain blood 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.