When it comes to the disclosure of personal information, it’s always important to look closely at the relevant privacy laws. 

Privacy is taken very seriously in Australia, so you want to make sure you’re compliant with the Privacy Act 1988 and are familiar with the 13 Australian Privacy Principles

Most businesses will inevitably have to manage and handle people’s personal information. For example:

  • Doctors who handle health information
  • Ecommerce stores who collect payment information
  • Photographers who take photos of guests at an event
  • Businesses who engage in research requiring participants

Let’s look a bit closely at the last example. A Consent Form allows people to expressly give their consent for a business to use and disclose their personal information with third parties. This way, businesses can remain compliant with privacy laws. 

If you’re engaging participants, they need to consent to the terms of your study. This is because it involves collecting their personal information. 

Usually, if a business is collecting and handling sensitive information, this requires express consent. Sensitive information can include information about:

  • Ethnic origin
  • Political beliefs
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Sexual preferences
  • Criminal record
  • Health or genetic information

Generally, a Participant Consent Form will cover some of the following things:

  • The terms of the study
  • How personal information will be collected and shared
  • What information will be collected and for what purpose
  • The responsibilities of both parties for the duration of the study
  • Consequences for not collecting the information

This all falls under the requirement to obtain consent to the handling of personal information

Yes, you can withdraw your consent. If you’re the business obtaining consent, it is your responsibility to ensure that the option to withdraw is not complicated. In other words, your participants should have a clear and simple process to follow if they no longer wish to participate. 

Consent must also be:

  • Voluntary
  • Current
  • Informed
  • Made with legal capacity 

If your business needs a consent form for your study, we’ve got you covered. Sprintlaw offers a Participant Consent Form package which includes:

  • Drafting a Participant Consent Form in accordance with your requirements
  • Phone consultations with a Sprintlaw lawyer who can answer your legal questions
  • A complimentary amendment to the final draft we provide you

Need Help?

Our lawyers work closely with you to ensure that we can meet your specific needs. When it comes to privacy, we know that businesses need to take that extra step to ensure they are compliant with the Privacy Act, and other international privacy laws if your business conducts activities overseas. 

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

About Sprintlaw

Sprintlaw is a new type of law firm that operates completely online and on a fixed-fee basis. We’re on a mission to make quality legal services faster, simpler and more affordable for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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