AEC Ltd and each of its subsidiaries and affiliates (‘AEC’ or ‘we’ or ‘us’) recognise that your privacy is important to you and that you have a right to know how your personal information is used in our organisation.
Our veterinary surgeons create and maintain records of animals under their care in accordance with their legal and professional obligations. Nothing in this policy limits, or is intended to operate inconsistently with, those legal and professional obligations.
This policy explains how we collect your personal information, what we do with it, and how it is protected.
KINDS OF PERSONAL INFORMATION COLLECTED AND HELD
For the purposes of providing veterinary services to your pet or animal, the personal information we collect about you includes your:
- name and contact details (including residential or business address, email address, telephone number and emergency contact number);
- pet or animal ownership details; and
- the insurance details (if applicable) for the treatment of your pet or animal.
We may be required to collect your personal information under State and Territory veterinary surgeons legislation.
We may also collect information about your:
- marketing preferences, including the type of marketing materials you wish to receive and the method of delivery (email, SMS, direct mail, or other);
- responses to customer satisfaction, service development, quality control and research surveys and similar activities;
- device identification information (see the section headed ‘Online and Digital Services’ below for further information).
If you are a candidate for employment, we may collect other information. This may include information relating to your employment history, working eligibility rights, suitability for the role you are applying for, and your referee details.
HOW PERSONAL INFORMATION IS COLLECTED AND HELD
How we collect your personal information:
Clients (pet owner/animal owner)
Normally we collect personal information from you directly. We may collect your personal information:
- during conversations with our reception staff (by phone, in person or electronically);
- when you present your pet or animal for treatment and complete registration forms or other documentation; or
- where you access and interact with the website or the customer service team (See the section headed ‘Online and Digital Services’ below for further information).
AEC may collect personal information from entities within the AEC group of companies including from Petbarn Pty Ltd.
We may also collect personal information from third parties including where new veterinary practices join the AEC group and from organisations with whom we have an affiliation.
If you apply for employment and complete forms applicable to the recruitment and selection process, we will collect your personal information through that process.
Veterinary Surgeons, Contractors and Others
AEC may collect personal information about individual veterinary surgeons (for example where other veterinary surgeons are also involved in the care of an animal), contractors and other individuals who interact with us. This information is generally collected for administration and management purposes.
How we hold your personal information
We may hold your personal information in hard copy (paper) or electronic form.
If you provide information to us electronically, we retain this information in our computer systems and databases. Information held in electronic form is generally held on servers controlled by AEC or on servers controlled by third parties under contractual arrangement with AEC in Australia. AEC uses physical security, password protection and other measures to ensure that personal information stored in electronic form is protected from misuse, interference and loss; and from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
Personal information collected in hard copy (paper) form may be converted to electronic form. Information held in paper-based form is generally securely stored at our veterinary clinics, our head office or secure off-site document storage facilities in Australia. AEC uses physical security and other measures to ensure that personal information in hard copy form is protected from misuse, interference and loss; and from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
ANONYMITY AND PSEUDONYMITY
You have the option of not identifying yourself, or using a pseudonym, when dealing with AEC (where this is lawful and practicable for example, when making an enquiry). However, it may not always be practicable to deal with you anonymously or pseudonymously on an ongoing basis (for example, when providing treatment to your pet or animal). If we do not collect personal information about you, we may be unable to provide your pet or animal with the veterinary services you have asked us to provide.
PURPOSES FOR COLLECTING, HOLDING, USING AND DISCLOSING PERSONAL INFORMATION
The main purposes for which we collect, hold and use your personal information are:
- to provide safe and effective veterinary care to your pet or animal;
- to communicate with you about upcoming appointments, health checks, vaccination schedules and other related veterinary care matters; and
- to answer your questions, provide you with information or advice (including general pet health advice) or consider and respond to requests or complaints made by you.
If you are a candidate for employment, we may use your personal information to assess your suitability for a position at AEC.
We may disclose your personal information to other veterinary care professionals (for example, veterinary pathologists ) in the course of the provision of veterinary care to your pet or animal (where this is consistent with our veterinary surgeons’ legal and professional obligations).
We may also use and disclose your personal information for other purposes required for the administration and operation of AEC, including:
- administering billing (including administration of insurance and other third-party payment arrangements) and debt recovery;
- managing, monitoring, planning and evaluating our services;
- safety and quality assurance and improvement activities;
- training of staff and veterinary care workers;
- testing and maintenance of information technology systems;
- product and service development, quality control and research to improve the way AEC and its service provides provide products and services to us and you;
- to seek your feedback in relation to customer satisfaction and our relationship with you and perform research and statistical analysis using such feedback;
- risk management and management of legal liabilities and claims (for example, liaising with AEC’ insurers and legal representatives);
- obtaining advice from consultants and professional advisers;
- responding to subpoenas or other legal orders and obligations; and
- to comply with laws or regulations or to comply with any directions given by regulators or authorities (including with respect to quarantine, public health and notifiable diseases).
Other third parties to whom we may disclose personal information to include data analysts, IT service providers and our advisors including our professional advisors (including legal and financial advisors).
We may collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for other purposes explained at the time of collection.
AEC may send you direct marketing communications to keep you informed about products and services the AEC group of companies provide which are related to the health of your pet (for example, via email, SMS, or regular mail). AEC may also send you direct marketing communications to keep you informed about other products and services that may be of interest to you via email, SMS, or regular mail. This includes retail offers from Petbarn Pty Ltd and Vetmax Pty Ltd, which are part of the AEC group of companies.
AEC acknowledges and respects its customers’ choice to “opt-out” of direct marketing communication activities undertaken by AEC. You may opt out of direct marketing communications at any time by contacting us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have indicated a preference for a method of communication, we will endeavour to use that method wherever practical to do so.
You can unsubscribe from marketing emails by clicking the unsubscribe link on the footer of the email communication you have received.
OVERSEAS DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Unless we have your consent, or an exception under the Australian Privacy Principles applies, we will only disclose your personal information to overseas recipients where we have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to your personal information.
ONLINE AND DIGITAL SERVICES
Third party sites
AEC’ website or communications may also contain links to websites which are owned or operated by other parties. You should make your own enquiries as to the privacy policies of these parties. We are not responsible for information on, or the privacy practices of, any third party websites.
Cookies and Digital Identifiers
Generally, individuals can use our digital services without identifying themselves. We may collect device identification information when you use a computer, mobile phone, smart phone, tablet, or other device to interact with us through our sites (www.AECvet.com.au) or other applications. This information may include session cookies, your device IMEI number, IP address or MAC address. In some cases, these identifiers may only relate to a device or may be of an aggregated or statistical nature, and will not identity you as the user. In other cases we may associate information about your use of the website and other digital services over time with your personal information, for example, where on any occasion you have logged in, followed a link sent to you by email or we have otherwise been able to identify you.
AEC and third-party vendors use first-party cookies and third-party cookies together to inform, optimize, and serve ads based on an individual’s past visits to our website and third party websites.
ACCESSING AND SEEKING CORRECTION TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
Accessing Personal Information
You are entitled to access your personal information held by AEC on request. To request access to your personal information, please contact The Privacy Officer using the contact details set out below under ‘Contacting Us’. In limited circumstances, access to your personal information may be declined in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles. We may charge a reasonable fee for providing access to your personal information.
Updating personal Information
AEC will endeavour to keep your personal information accurate, up-to-date and complete. You can assist us with this by letting us know if you notice errors or discrepancies in information we hold about you and letting us know if your details change.
If you consider any personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading you are entitled to request correction of the information. After receiving a request from you, we will take reasonable steps to correct your information.
Destruction of Personal Information
AEC take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify your personal information where it is no longer required. Personal information which forms part of our veterinary surgeons’ treatment records must be maintained in accordance with legislative and professional requirements.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT HANDLING OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We will consider and respond to your complaint within a reasonable period. If you are not satisfied with our response to a complaint, or you consider that AEC may have breached the Australian Privacy Principles or the Privacy Act, you are entitled to make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner can be contacted by telephone on 1300 363 992. Full contact details for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner can be found online at www.oaic.gov.au.
CHANGES TO THIS POLICY