Our privacy assurance to you At Total Homes your privacy has always been important to us. We comply with the National Privacy Principles (new privacy laws which apply from 21 December 2001).
This policy and other privacy statements
What information does Total Homes hold?
The types of information we keep on record will depend on the type of product or service requested by you. Generally, we keep a record of one or more of the following types of information about you:
- information that identifies you, such as your name and address and other information provided by you and people nominated by you;
- if you apply for a loan, credit information about you and property reports about any property which secures your obligations to us.
We do not actively seek to collect sensitive information (for example information about your racial or ethnic origin or any criminal record), unless it is necessary for our business purposes. If we do have to collect sensitive information, we will do so in accordance with the National Privacy Principles.
During the course of our relationship with you, we may gather information about you relating to all products and services that we or other members of the Total Homes or our preferred suppliers provide to you. This information is used to help us form views about how we can improve our relationship with you.
How Total Homes collects information from its website
We collect and hold information about you when you:
- complete an online form;
- provide us with your email address; or
- access and use our services through our website.
We also collect some statistical information about visitors, from our website (for example, the number of visitors, pages viewed, time online and documents downloaded). Some of this statistical information is collected by using cookies, but none of the statistical information we collect allows us to identify a visitor. We use this information to evaluate our website performance and continually improve our services. Other than statistical information, we do not collect any information about you through our website unless you provide the information to us.
How Total Homes generally collects your information
Generally, we only collect personal information about you from you, unless it is not reasonable or practical for us to do so or you consent. For example, you may authorise us to collect information from a third party, like your employer to confirm your income details, or we may engage an agent, such as a mortgage broker, to collect information on our behalf, or you may be named as a referee or beneficiary in another application for one of our products or services. We may also collect information about you from other members of the Total Homes or from publicly available sources such as company registers or land title registries.
How may Total Homes use your personal information?
We use your personal information to:
- respond to your request or help us process your application for our products or services (including performing the identity check required by the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 where necessary); and
- ensure our internal business operations are running smoothly which may include fulfilling legal requirements and conducting confidential systems maintenance and testing.
When we request your information we may give more specific details about the way we use your information.
What rights does Total Homes have to disclose personal information?
Usually we must get your consent before we tell anyone about you. You can give us your consent expressly or it may be implied by your conduct.
Sometimes the law requires us to give out information about you. For example, we may be required by the Australian Tax Office or Centrelink to disclose information about you. Another example is giving your personal details to a court if we are ordered to do so under a subpoena.
Depending on the product or service that we provide to you, if it is necessary we may also disclose your personal information to:
- any organisation which you request us to or any persons acting on your behalf, including your financial adviser, broker, solicitor, or accountant – unless you tell us not to.
- Any referees, any person with whom you transact (for example merchants, to process your transactions) or any financial institution nominated by you (for example in direct debit).
We may at other times give you more details about our disclosure practices in relation to specific products or services – for example on the forms we use to collect personal information about you.
How may Total Homes use your personal information?
Your personal information may also be used by us or other members of the Total Homes to help assess your total relationship and product holding within the Total Homes, analyse products and services, evaluate the needs of our customers and develop new products. Unless you inform us or have previously told us not to, we may also provide access to your personal information to members of the Total Homes to inform you of products and services offered by any member of the Total Homes or preferred organisations which we think may be of interest or value to you.
How Total Homes protects the security of your information
We take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
We provide the maximum level of security when you use our online products and services.
We have physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your information which is held by us. For example, your personal information is stored in secured office premises, in electronic databases requiring logins and passwords for access. Access to information stored electronically is restricted to staff whose job purpose requires access. We require all staff to maintain the confidentiality of customer information. Any visitor, for any purpose, to any part of our premises in which customer personal information is kept is required to register with a security desk or be accompanied by a member of staff while in the premises.
We use secure methods to destroy or de-identify any personal information as soon as the law permits, provided the information is no longer needed by us for any purpose. Ordinarily, for information about a particular product or service provided to you, we destroy the information seven years from the date we supply you with the product or service.
What are your rights?
You need not give us any of the personal information about you or any other person which may be requested in our communications with you. However, without that information, we may not be able to process an application, fulfil your request or provide you with an appropriate level of service.
Information about our Products and Services
If you do not want the benefit of receiving information, special offers or exclusive opportunities about products and services (which may be supplied by us or any member of the Total Homes or preferred suppliers) which we think may be of interest or value to you, then please tell us. You can do this at any time by writing to us (either via traditional post or e-mail) or telephoning us at the contact details listed on our contact us page.
Access to your information
You can request access at any time to personal information we hold about you. We will process your request within a reasonable time, usually 14 days for a straightforward request. More time may be needed, depending on the nature of the request.
There is no fee for requesting access to your information, however we may charge you the reasonable cost of processing your request.
Sometimes we are not required to provide you with access – for example, if the law says we can deny access. If we refuse you access to your personal information, we will tell you the reason why. If we are not required to provide you with access to the information requested, we will consider, if reasonable, whether the use of a mutually agreed intermediary would allow sufficient access to meet your needs and ours.
Correction of information
We try to ensure that all information we hold about you which we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. You must promptly notify us if there are any changes to your personal information.
You may ask us at any time to correct personal information held by us about you, which you believe is incorrect or out of date. We will deal with your request within a reasonable time. If we disagree as to the accuracy of the information, you may request that we attach a statement to that information noting that you consider it is not accurate, complete or up to date.
If there is anything you would like to discuss, please contact us.
We will try to answer any questions you may have, correct any error on our part or resolve any complaint that you may have about our information handling practices. If we do not resolve a complaint to your satisfaction, you also have the right to complain to the Privacy Commissioner. We will provide you with the Commission contact details if required.
There are two primary reasons we require such information.
- To supply services to our members,
- To enable us to communicate with members
Under no circumstances will we sell members’ information. The only time information is disclosed to a third party is when it is related to the provision and/or improvement of services or if we are required to do so by Australian law. In both cases these entities meet with strict guidelines to preserve members’ privacy.
For our members’ convenience, cookies are used in this site. These pieces of information are applied to our site to enhance its functionality to save you having to input the same information time and time again.
The data recorded is strictly of a non-personal nature and is used to assist us in improving content and services offered. Information recorded relates to website traffic and usage statistics.
Email addresses recorded by us for specific requested services and subscriptions are not disclosed to third parties and remain secured by us. Members are able to opt out of receiving such material at any time by unsubscribing through the specified channels.