Privacy on social media

Protect the personal information and privacy of customers on social media.

Legislation

The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PIPP Act) defines personal information as “information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database and whether or not recorded in a material form) about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion". 

Under the PIPP Act, NSW Government agencies have obligations to protect customer details.

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Handle customer data with care

Never ask customers to provide identifying details on social media.

If a customer shares identifying details publicly, you should inform customer know that they should not share their personal details publicly and hide or delete the information.

If you need someone to share contact details with you, ask them to provide their details by:

  • emailing your official NSW Government email address
  • calling your work or hotline phone number
  • filling out a secure contact form on an official NSW Government website with an SSL certificate.

Use consent forms 

If you’re taking photos or videos at an event, you need to have consent from participants.

Always be upfront with how you intend on using someone’s image and what channels those visuals will appear on.  

You can get consent by: 

  • alerting people prior to the event that they may be photographed or filmed for use on social media
  • putting up signage at the event explaining that people might be photographed or filmed for use on social media
  • asking people to complete and return a hard copy consent form.

In these situations, you must give people the opportunity to opt out.

However, there will be circumstances where opting-out will result in individuals not being able to participate, particularly in instances where it is not feasible for your agency to remove or censor their faces from the photos or video. 

Download the authority to publish consent form template (DOCX, 71.88 KB)

The consent form template can be used when taking photos at events or during planned filming or photography sessions. Please note that the template may not be appropriate for every circumstance, for example when using paid actors or when it is not feasible to obtain consent from passers-by. Check with your legal team if you plan to use this template for any other reason. 

Some teams or projects may need more rigorous consent forms. If you deal with children or vulnerable people, consult your media or legal team about consent forms. 

Privacy statements, pixels and tracking

NSW Government social media channels using pixels, insights tags or conversion tracking must disclose this in a privacy collection statement on their website. 

Privacy collection statements help customers understand how their details might be used once they’ve interacted with social media ads or content. 

To comply with the privacy legislation, your privacy collection statement must address:

  • the fact that personal information is being collected
  • all tracking methods your agency uses  
  • why the information is being collected
  • what is done with the information and who it is shared with
  • whether the provision of information is required or optional, and any consequences to the individual if the information is not provided
  • the right of access to and correction of the personal information
  • the agency that is collecting the information and the agency that is holding it (if different)
  • how long a person's details can be used for (optional)   
  • how users can opt-out (including a link to do this).

This is not an exhaustive list of everything you need in your privacy statement. Please talk to your privacy team or your legal team about creating a privacy collection statement tailored to your channels.

You can see an example of a pixel-use statement in the NSW Government's privacy statement.

If you’re interested in using pixels or tracking on nsw.gov.au pages, please get in touch.

Related information

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