NSW Quitline privacy statement

Part A: About this privacy statement

The Cancer Institute NSW (“CINSW”) (ABN: 48 538 442 594) is Australia’s first statewide, government-funded cancer control agency. Further information about CINSW is available at www.cancer.nsw.gov.au.

The CINSW provides health services to members of the public including the NSW Quitline accessible at 13 7848 (13 QUIT) and iCanQuit website.

This Privacy Statement applies to the provision of the NSW Quitline. 

The privacy practices of the CINSW are regulated by Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002. The CINSW’s privacy obligations concern the collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information and health information.

The CINSW contracts third party providers to provide the NSW Quitline service. The current NSW Quitline service provider is Medibank Health Solutions Telehealth. Medibank Health Solutions Telehealth is bound by the same privacy obligations as the CINSW and may also be subject to additional obligations such as the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). 

Part B: NSW Quitline

What personal information does the NSW Quitline collect and hold?

When you contact the NSW Quitline, we will usually collect your name, age, gender, contact details, date of birth, cultural background, some medical history (for example, information about your illnesses, symptoms, disabilities and medications you are taking), details of your smoking habit and other information required to provide you with the NSW Quitline service. This information is stored on a database.

You can always choose to use the NSW Quitline anonymously or provide a pseudonym if you wish to remain anonymous when dealing with NSW Quitline, please advise the Quitline Advisor assisting you. If you choose not to provide your personal information to the NSW Quitline this may affect your ability to take full advantage of the services offered. Providing your personal details enables us to provide you with additional information and support services, and allows us to retrieve information about your call at a later date, for example if you make another call to the NSW Quitline, or if we wish to invite you to complete a caller satisfaction survey.

We may also record information about NSW Quitline services you have agreed to be provided to you in the future.

We usually collect information directly from you when you contact the NSW Quitline or when you elect to receive a telephone call from the NSW Quitline at the time you register on the iCanQuit website. We sometimes collect personal information from a third party, for example from a healthcare professional who refers you to the NSW Quitline. If someone calls on behalf of another person, we collect the caller’s name and contact details.

All records are retained in accordance with the requirements specified in the privacy legislation. The CINSW is also bound by the State Records Act 1998. If the information is no longer required by us for any purpose for which it was collected and is no longer required by law to be retained by us, we will destroy or de-identify the information.

How is information collected by the NSW Quitline used and disclosed?

The NSW Quitline uses and discloses personal information and health information for the following purposes:

  • providing health services to you;
  • providing promotional or related information to you following your use of our services; and

NSW Quitline will use your de-identified personal information and health information for:

  • training purposes
  • monitoring and reporting NSW Quitline performance
  • improving the quality of the NSW Quitline service and smoking cessation outcomes
  • contributing to tobacco control research.

De-identification means that all identifying personal details are removed from the health information that is used.

The NSW Quitline uses audio recordings of all consultations to help ensure that the advice it gives meets the highest standards of safety and quality. The NSW Quitline may use your personal information to make a follow up call to you for feedback on your satisfaction with the service you have received.

You can advise the NSW Quitline if you do not want to receive promotional or related information by contacting the NSW Quitline.

The NSW Quitline will generally not disclose your personal information or health information to anyone except as described in this Privacy Statement, where you consent to a particular disclosure, or where the identifying data can be removed (for example, the provision of de-identified information to third parties for research, including publication of the information in peer-reviewed journals and other publications).

There may be other disclosures where:

  • you would reasonably expect the disclosure to occur (for example, quality assurance purposes, training and the purpose of enhancing the NSW Quitline);
  • CINSW or the NSW Quitline service provider is authorised or compelled by law to disclose;
  • it will prevent or lessen a serious threat to someone’s life, health or safety or a threat to public health or safety;
  • it is necessary as part of the establishment or defence of a legal claim;
  • it is requested by an enforcement agency such as the police;
  • it is a necessary part of an investigation following a complaint or incident; or
  • there is a change of service provider to the NSW Quitline, in which case personal information and health information may be transferred to a new similar service provider.

When the NSW Quitline service provider discloses your personal information or health information to third parties, we make all reasonable efforts to ensure we disclose only relevant information and that it is accurate, complete and up to date.

The CINSW will not permit your personal information or health information to be sold or rented to anyone or transferred overseas unless you ask CINSW to do so.

Is the information held by the NSW Quitline secure?

Personal and health information will be kept in safe custody, sufficient to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, and will be properly handled to ensure its safety, integrity and confidentiality.

How does the NSW Quitline ensure that my personal information and health information is accurate and how can I access this information?

The NSW Quitline service provider has processes in place to ensure that records of your information remain accurate, complete and up to date, including by verifying the information with you each time you are in contact with the NSW Quitline. If you have a concern that personal information or health information the NSW Quitline holds about you may be inaccurate, incomplete or not up to date you should contact the NSW Quitline so that your information can be promptly updated.

If you wish to see what information the NSW Quitline has about you, you can ask for a copy of it. Access to your personal information may be declined in special circumstances, such as where giving access would put you or another person at risk of mental or physical harm. If we refuse to provide you with access to your record or to update your record in the way you request, we will provide you with written reasons.

If we do not agree to correct or update your information, you may request that we make a note on your record that you are of the opinion that the information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date, irrelevant or misleading, as the case may be.

You are entitled to request access to all personal information including your health records held by NSW Quitline. Normally you will be asked to apply for access in writing and provide identification. You may be charged a fee if you request copies of your personal information or health record. Requests for access to information will be responded to as soon as possible, or in most cases no later than 28 days.

Part C: Queries, concerns and further information 

Is this Privacy Statement updated?

CINSW may update this Privacy Statement from time to time. To see the most current Privacy Statement, please visit cancerinstitute.org.au/quitline or contact the NSW Quitline.

How can you contact us?

If you have a general privacy enquiry or complaint regarding CINSW, please contact: 

The Privacy Officer Cancer Institute NSW PO Box 41 Alexandria NSW 1435
Tel: (02) 8374 5600
Fax: (02) 8374 5709