Reading time: 4 minutes

The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) were introduced in March 2014, to supplement the Privacy Act. The APPs apply to all health service providers. If you run a medical business, you need to make sure your Privacy Policy complies with the APPs, to comply with the law, as there are considerable fines for breach.

A thorough and up-to-date privacy policy will also help show your clients that you respect their personal information and take steps to keep it safe.

A Privacy Policy for a medical business needs to address the items set out below.

Collection of Personal Information

First, set out what type of information your business collects. Personal information includes:

  • name;
  • contact details;
  • date of birth;
  • demographics; and
  • preferences.

If your business receives personal information from third parties, you should indicate that you do so, and explain that you will protect this third party information in the same way you protect information collected directly.

Medical businesses also collect sensitive information, which is a subset of personal information. This is given higher protection under the APPs.

Sensitive information includes:

  • information or an opinion about an individual’s race, political opinions, religions and beliefs, memberships of a particular association, sexual orientation, or criminal records, which are also personal information;
  • health information;
  • genetic information (that is not otherwise health information); and
  • biometric information.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

Your Privacy Policy needs to set out how personal information will be used and disclosed. Personal information should not be used without consent.

Uses may include contacting and communicating with clients, for internal record keeping, marketing, and providing information to third parties.

You are allowed to disclose personal information to credit reporting agencies and courts where your clients fail to pay for any goods or services you provided, to law enforcement agencies as required by law, and to third parties who may assist in providing information, products or services to the client.

In relation to sensitive information, use and disclosure is stricter.

For a medical business, generally, sensitive information may only be used or disclosed under the following circumstances:

  • if the client would reasonably expect the business to use or disclose the information for a secondary purpose, and only if that secondary purpose is directly related to the primary purpose for which the sensitive information was collected;
  • if it is required or authorised by law;
  • if you reasonably believe that the disclosure is necessary for law enforcement purposes; or
  • if a permitted health situation exists.

A permitted health situation only exists where the information is necessary to provide a health service to the individual and the collection is either:

  • required or authorised by or under an Australian law; or
  • in accordance with rules established by competent health or medical bodies that deal with obligations of professional confidentiality which bind the organisation.

 Storage and Security

You need to show your client that you are committed to keeping personal and sensitive information secure. You should outline what procedures you have in place to protect information such as physical, electronic or managerial procedures.

However, to limit your liability, it is wise to explain that whilst measures are taken, no information transmitted over the internet can be guaranteed to be secure.

Contact Details

You must provide details of how people can contact you in regards to the personal information that is held with your business and how they can correct this information.


When you operate a medical business, you collect, use and disclose personal and sensitive information on a regular basis. It is important that this information is protected. You need a good quality Privacy Policy in place and you need to follow it. To ensure that your Privacy Policy complies with the APPs, and covers your business, you should check the Privacy Act or have assistance from a lawyer.


How Franchisors Can Avoid Misleading and Deceptive Conduct

Wednesday 18 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Ensure your franchise is not accused of misleading and deceptive conduct. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

New Kid on the Blockchain: Understanding the Proposed Laws for Crypto, NFT and Blockchain Projects

Wednesday 25 May | 10:00 - 10:45am

If you operate in the crypto space, ensure you understand the Federal Government’s proposed licensing and regulation changes. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

How to Expand Your Business Into a Franchise

Thursday 26 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Drive rapid growth in your business by turning it into a franchise. To learn how, join our free webinar. Register today.
Register Now

Day in Court: What Happens When Your Business Goes to Court

Thursday 2 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

If your business is going to court, then you need to understand the process. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Manage a Construction Dispute

Thursday 9 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Protect your construction firm from disputes. To understand how, join our free webinar.
Register Now

Startup Financing: Venture Debt 101

Thursday 23 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how venture debt can help take your startup to the next level. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer