AGL is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (Principles) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). The Principles are designed to protect the confidentiality of information and the privacy of individuals by regulating the way personal information is managed. Personal information is, generally, information or an opinion relating to an individual, which can be used to identify that individual. AGL may also handle information about companies and other persons in the ways described here.
To find out details specifically relating to our handling of personal information obtained from credit reporting bodies and certain other consumer credit-related personal information, please visit our Credit Reporting Policy page.
We collect personal information about customers, shareholders, employees and other individuals. We collect personal information through personal contact, records of communications and third parties including public sources. See Collection of personal information below for details.
We handle personal information for purposes including to provide, manage and enhance our products and services, understand you and conduct direct marketing. See Use and disclosure of personal information below for details, including how to opt out of direct marketing.
We take various steps to protect the security of personal information and to destroy or de-identify that information when no longer needed. You may be entitled to access and correct your personal information that we hold in certain circumstances. See Accessing and correcting your personal information below for details.
You can contact us (see below for details) with any queries or concerns about privacy. In some cases, you may be able to raise your concerns with an external body. See Complaints about an interference with privacy below for details.
2. Collection of personal information
AGL Energy collects certain personal information in various circumstances, such as when you contact us or engage with us.
The types of personal information that we collect may include information about:
(e) personal contacts at corporate clients or suppliers
(f) applicants for employment with AGLand
(g) other people who come into contact in the ordinary course of business
The types of personal information (including historical information) we collect include your name, contact details, identification information, organisation, positions held, information in forms you submit, payment details and enquiry/complaint details. We also collect metering data and personal information about your interactions and transactions with us, including any contact we have with you by telephone, email or online.
We may collect your health information or organisational affiliation to determine your eligibility for specific discounts, services or treatment (e.g. hardship). We will check that you have consented prior to collecting, using or disclosing your sensitive information, unless the collection of the information is required or authorised by law. Sensitive information is information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or afﬁliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record, genetics, biometrics or health.
Some personal information is collected under laws including a range of energy industry laws applicable to us. For example, we are required to record information we are provided about customers on life support as these customers have a special need for continuity in their power supply.
This information is collected in a variety of ways, including by way of personal contact such as business activities and events, as well as mail, telephone, email and online. Please note that our websites do not provide systems for secure transmission across the internet, except where indicated. We may monitor and record your communications with us (including email and telephone) and operate video and audio surveillance devices in our premises for purposes including security, record-keeping and training.
We may also collect and use personal information available from other AGL Group companies, from public sources such as telephone listings, and from other third party sources including where it is necessary to identify customers. For example, builders and real estate agents may provide details of new occupants and tenants who are using gas and/or electricity.
3. Use and disclosure of personal information
In general, AGL may use or disclose personal information for the following purposes:
(a) provide our products and services to customers;
(b) understand you and meet your needs;
(c) process payments and refunds;
(d) verify your identity and personal information;
(e) maintain and update our records and carry out other administrative tasks;
(f) communicate and manage our relationship with you and your organisation;
(g) help manage and enhance our products and services, including by conducting surveys and other research;
(h) deal with your applications, enquiries and concerns;
(i) prevent, detect, investigate and deal with unlawful activity and misconduct (whether actual or suspected); and
(j) comply with legal obligations and protect our lawful interests.
We may not be able to do these things without your personal information. For example, we may not be able to provide our services, communicate with you or deal with your enquiries.
We may also use and disclose your personal information in connection with acquisitions or potential acquisitions of our business.
We also use your personal information to promote and market products and services to you, including through telephone and electronic methods such as email, SMS, websites and mobile apps. This is to keep you informed of products, services and special offers and may continue after you cease to acquire services from us.
If you do not wish us to contact you to promote and market products, services and special offers (whether it be through electronic methods or otherwise), or if you have subscribed to any of our newsletters or subscriptions and no longer wish to receive such communications, please call 131 245.
We may exchange personal information with:
(a) service providers and specialist advisers who have been contracted to provide installation and maintenance, meter reading, administrative, financial, research, archival, auditing, accounting, customer contact, sales, legal, business consulting, banking, payment, credit management, debt collection, delivery, data processing, data analysis, information broking, research, marketing, investigation, website, technology or other services;
(b) other energy retailers for example in connection with migrating your services or where we are a service provider to them;
(c) the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) which manages energy supply, demand and capacity in accordance with applicable regulation;
(d) insurers, lawyers, courts, tribunals and regulatory authorities (including the Australian Tax Office) as required or authorised by law or in accordance with their reasonable information requests;
(e) insurance investigators; or
(f) your representatives and anyone else authorised by you, as specified by you or the contract.
4. Additional information for particular individuals and contexts
We may exchange your personal information with debt buyers and any relevant loyalty program partners.
In some cases, customers are introduced to us by third party introducers such as sales partners and energy comparison services. We may collect your personal information from those parties.
We may also collect information about your use of our products and services through means such as devices like Smart Meters and Solar Command. With these devices, we are able to remotely collect and provide you with detailed data regarding energy usage and usage times. This gives you and us the ability to monitor your usage, see trends and forecasts, set alerts, diagnose issues, compare usage to similar properties, reduce environmental impacts and identify product and service improvements. We may also give you the ability from time to time to connect ‘smart appliances’ to provide appliance-specific usage data. If you do not wish us to contact you to promote and market products, services and special offers, you can opt out as described in Section 3 of this Policy. We may also use de-identified usage data for a range of purposes including network planning and product and service development and improvement.
If our metering business Active Stream provides Smart Meter services where you are a customer of an energy retailer other than AGL, we are subject to greater restrictions on our ability to disclose your personal information to other AGL companies unless we obtain consent or another exception applies.
Please see your customer terms and conditions for further terms relevant to your privacy. If you apply for or obtain services from us on credit, then our Credit Reporting Policy may be relevant to you.
We operate a range of online services to provide information and services. These include our websites (e.g. agl.com.au), mobile apps, email and social media profiles (Online Facilities).
Our Online Facilities may use ‘cookies’ from time to time. A cookie is a piece of information that allows our system to identify and interact more effectively with your device. The cookie helps us to maintain the continuity of your browsing session and remember your details and preferences when you return. You can configure web browser software to reject cookies however some parts of our websites may not have full functionality in that case.
If you are considering sending us any other personal information through our Online Facilities or other electronic means, please be aware that the information may be insecure in transit, particularly where no encryption is used (e.g. email, standard HTTP). We are subject to laws requiring us to protect the security of personal information once it comes into our possession.
Our Online Facilities may contain links to third party websites or services. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or policies of those sites or services.
If you are a shareholder of one of the companies within the AGL Energy Group, you may be required to provide us with your tax ﬁle number, which is kept securely on the relevant share register. In accordance with Australian tax laws, we may provide certain advice to the Australian Tax Ofﬁce, including dividend information. We may also collect details of your investment including dividends paid. We are required or authorised to collect certain information about shareholders under laws including the Taxation Administration Act and the Corporations Act. We collect, use and disclose your personal information to manage your investment with us and provide shareholder services.
Section 173 of the Corporations Act 2001 describes the circumstances in which our companies are required to grant access on request to their share register. The share register sets out all shareholders’ names, addresses and shareholdings. We may provide information from the share register to meet speciﬁc requests such as identifying the top 100 shareholders.
4.4 Job applicants
If you apply for a position with us, we may also collect information about your qualifications, experience, character, screening checks (including health, reference, background, directorship, financial probity, identity, eligibility to work, vocational suitability, drugs/alcohol and criminal record checks). We collect, use and disclose your personal information to assess your application, conduct screening checks and consider and contact you regarding other positions. We may exchange your personal information with academic institutions, recruiters, screening check providers, health service providers, professional and trade associations, law enforcement agencies, referees and your current and previous employers. Without your personal information we may not be able to progress considering you for positions with us.
This section applies to our current and former employees and contractors in addition to the recruitment section above.
We may collect information relating to your current or former employment or engagement including information about your training, disciplining, resignation, termination, terms and conditions, emergency contact details, performance, conduct, use of our IT resources, payroll matters, union or professional/trade association membership, recreation, leave and taxation, banking or superannuation affairs. We are required or authorised to collect your personal information under various laws including the Fair Work Act, Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act and Taxation Administration Act.
We collect, use and disclose your personal information for purposes relating to your employment or engagement with us including engagement, training, disciplining, payroll, superannuation, health and safety, administration, insurance (including workcover) and staff management purposes. We may exchange your personal information with your representatives (including unions) and our service providers including providers of payroll, banking, staff benefits, surveillance and training services. Without your personal information we may not be able to effectively manage your employment or engagement.
5. Management of personal information
We realise that your personal information may change frequently with changes of address and personal circumstance. You can help us to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up-to-date. Please contact us promptly by a method set out in Section 8 of this Policy to inform us of any changes to your personal information.
We hold personal information electronically and in hard copy form, both at our own premises and with the assistance of our service providers. We implement a range of measures to protect the security of that personal information. We are also required to take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify personal information when no longer needed for any permitted purpose.
6. Accessing and correcting your personal information
Under the Principles, you may have the right to obtain access to personal information which AGL Energy holds about you and to advise us of any perceived inaccuracy. We will consider any recommendation by you to change or correct information and advise you of the action taken.
My AGL IQ®.
You may also request to access your personal information by contacting us by a method set out in Section 8 of this Policy. Depending upon the personal information you seek, you may be asked:
(a) to complete an Information Request Form
(b) to verify your identity in writing, and/or
(c) if the inquiry involves extensive administration time or resources, to pay a fee. If this is the case, we will advise the likely cost in advance and can help refine your request if required.
Please note that in circumstances prescribed by the Privacy Act, you may be refused access to or correction of your personal information (for example, if providing access would be unlawful or would have an unreasonable impact upon the privacy of other individuals). In these circumstances we are required to provide you our reasons and if you request, make a note of your requested correction with the relevant information.
7. Complaints about an interference with privacy
If your privacy concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you may contact:
(a) from 12 March 2014, your relevant energy industry ombudsman with jurisdiction to handle privacy complaints, including:
(1) Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) and on 1800 500 509; and
(2) Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW and on 1800 246 545; or
(b) The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and on 1300 363 992.
8. How to Contact us
You can contact the AGL Energy Group about a privacy-related issue by phone, post or by ﬁlling in our online enquiry form.
Phone: 131 245 (available 24/7)
Address: AGL Customer Advocacy, Locked Bag 14120 MCMC VIC 8001
9. Updates to this policy
Last updated: 26 August 2015