In accordance with the Guidelines for Federal and ACT Government Websites issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner, the Department of Social Services provides the following privacy statement.

Our policy is to respect and protect the privacy of our users. This policy statement tells you how we collect information and how we use it. With respect to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information*, Department of Social Services follows the Guidelines for Federal and ACT Government Websites issued by the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner.

As a general rule, we do not collect personal information about you when you visit our website. You can generally visit our website without telling us who you are or revealing other personal information, unless you choose to provide such information to us. The information we receive depends upon what you do when visiting our website.

* The use of the term 'personal information' in this privacy statement means any information from which your identity is apparent or can be reasonably ascertained.

Site visit data

Department of Social Services delivers its websites through an external service provider.

If you visit our website to read or download information, our Internet service provider records, through our log files, the following information for statistical purposes:

  • Your server's address
  • The name of the top level domain from which you access the Internet (for example: .gov, .com, .edu, .org, .au, .nz etcetera)
  • The date and time of your visit to the website
  • The pages you accessed, documents downloaded and search terms used
  • The address of the referring website (for example, the previous website that you visited), and
  • The type of browser and operating system you are using

The above information does not identify you personally and you remain anonymous. This information is provided by your browser and will be used for statistical and development purposes only. Analysis of this information assists with the improvement of this website.

No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation of abuse or a security incident. The data will not be disclosed to any external agencies except in the case where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the Internet service provider's logs.

This website contains links to other websites. Department of Social Services is not responsible for the content and privacy practices of other websites and encourages you to examine each website's privacy policies and make your own decisions regarding the reliability and correctness of material and information found.


A cookie is a small file that is sent to your web browser from a web server when you access information on a website. A cookie is set when you enter the website and is only valid during the session.

Collection of personal information

Those who operate The Line website are subject to the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. This Act lays down strict privacy safeguards which Commonwealth Government departments and agencies must observe in handling personal information. More information about the Privacy Act can be obtained from the Privacy Commissioners web site at:

Your email address will only be recorded if you choose to contact us and will only be used for the purpose for which you have provided it. We will not use your email address for any other purpose, and will not disclose it, without your consent.

If we ask you for any other personal information we will tell you how we intend to use that personal information if you choose to give it to us. If at any time you believe we have not adhered to the principles referred to in this privacy statement or have any other comments on these principles, please contact us.

Security of information

Your personal information will be securely stored from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. The personally identifiable information you provide on computer servers will be securely stored in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.

Department of Social Services recognises the insecure nature of email. While every effort to maintain your confidentiality is taken, we are unable to guarantee the privacy of information transmitted via this system.

Your personal information is protected under the confidentiality and secrecy provisions contained within social security, disability, child support and family assistance law. These laws prohibit any person from accessing, using or disclosing any personal information in the possession of Department of Social Services except when performing their duties in accordance with these laws or in specific situations permitted by the law. Your personal information will not be made available to any person or agency unless the law permits or your permission is given. Penalties apply to those who fail to observe these provisions.

While Department of Social Services endeavours to provide a secure Internet environment, please note that the privacy of your personal information cannot be guaranteed if you choose to transmit that information over the Internet.

If you do not wish to contact us via the Internet, Department of Social Services provides alternative ways to obtain and provide information. Please contact Department of Social Services by telephone or post if you have concerns about the security of your email message. When you telephone the Department, you can request access to Department of Social Services facsimile numbers.

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