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Shield Mercantile

Privacy Policy

Shield Mercantile Pty Ltd (“Shield”, “we” or “us”) understands the importance of protecting the personal information of our clients and customers. We are committed to the protection of personal information in accordance with our procedures and as required by Australian legislation.

Shield is bound by the requirements of the National Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act).

This privacy policy outlines how we collect, use, disclose and handle the personal information of our clients and customers including information about how you can access and/or correct your personal information.

We reserve the right to change our Privacy Policy at any time. A Revised version of our Privacy Policy will be published on our website.

What is personal information?

Personal information, as defined by the Privacy Act, is information or opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.

Shield will only collect information reasonable to the services we provide. The types of personal information collected by Shield Mercantile include:

  • Personal descriptors such as your name, date of birth, gender and marital status;
  • Contact details such as address, previous known address, email address and contact phone numbers;
  • Employment history such as employer’s names, addresses and contact phone numbers;
  • Information regarding your account, including your contract with your original credit provider, balance outstanding, any information disclosed in your initial credit application, details of payments and default listings, correspondence and contact between you and the original creditor, as well as involvement as a party in pending and completed legal proceedings and personal insolvency information;
  • Any financial information you provide us, such as assets, liabilities, income and expenditure;
  • Complaint information such as dates of when the complaint was received and finalised, details of the complaint and your expectations and the resolution of the complaint;
  • Government issued identifiers such as an Australian Business Number (ABN) and drivers licence numbers;
  • We may also collect information about your affiliation with certain organisations such as professional associations.

Shield Mercantile does not collect personal information such as your tax file number, pension number, Medicare number or any other government agency identifier.

We do not generally collect sensitive information for individuals, but in some cases this information may be held. Sensitive information may include:

  • Race;
  • Political and religious beliefs;
  • Sexual preferences;
  • Criminal convictions;
  • Membership of professional or trade associates or unions;
  • Health information.

Sensitive information may be collected when assessing certain claims including hardship. In the event sensitive information is collected, we only do so with the consent of the individual, as provided by you or otherwise where we are entitled to do so.

How is your personal information collected?

Where reasonable and applicable, personal information will be obtained and confirmed from you during our interaction with you, be it over the telephone, by e-mail, SMS, post, fax or over the internet. Shield will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and only collect personal information for purposes which relate directly to our functions or activities. Other sources Shield may use to collect your personal information include:

  • Your original credit provider;
  • Credit reporting bodies;
  • Third Parties who we reasonably believe may be able to assist us in making contact with you;
  • Authorised third party representatives, such as your legal or financial adviser;
  • Publicly available sources of information, including people search databases and property/tenancy databases.

How we use your information

Shield only uses the personal information which has been collected for the purposes of debt recovery or for secondary use provided consent has been obtained from the individual.

Your personal information may be used for the following functions:

  • To identify you and manage any payments of your account;
  • To contact you;
  • To respond to your enquiries;
  • For compliance, quality assurance and staff training purposes; for example, phone calls with you may be recorded; and,
  • To comply with any relevant legislations and regulations.

Who do we disclose your information to?

Shield discloses personal information to the following sources:

  • The client which engages our organisation as an agent;
  • Credit reporting bodies such as Equifax;
  • Our solicitors and/or local, district or supreme courts throughout Australia;
  • Authorised agents on your behalf such as legal or financial advisers;
  • External agents such as process servers, repossession, bulk mailing and document storage.

Ensuring the quality of your personal information

Shield is dedicated to ensuring that your personal information which is held is accurate, up to date and complete. We maintain and update personal information should we be advised by you that the personal information which is held is out of date or inaccurate. Where personal information which has been collected is no longer required, we remove the information or permanently de-identify it.

Protecting your personal information

Shield takes reasonable steps to prevent loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or other misuse of your personal information. This includes the implementation of information security policies and procedures, software encryption, password protection, virus protection and internal quality procedures. All employees are required to sign a Declaration of Secrecy.

How you can access and correct personal information

Individuals have a right to access and correct their personal information which is held. When we receive a request for personal information to be updated or amended, Shield takes reasonable steps to ensure that the information held is updated, subject to some exceptions outlined in the Australian Privacy Principles.

If you believe that the information held by us about you is incomplete, inaccurate or outdated, please contact us immediately to amend this information. Our contact details are available below or on our website (www.shieldmerc.com.au) via the “Contact us” link. Individuals may obtain further information regarding how to correct/update or request access to their personal information by contacting our office.

External Agents

Shield requires compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles by all of our external agents. We are not likely to disclose the personal information of individuals to overseas recipients although in some cases our clients may disclose personal information to their external agencies. To find out more in relation to our client’s disclosure of personal information to overseas entities, please refer to each client’s Privacy Policy which is available on their websites.

Resolving Privacy Issues

If you have any concerns regarding our Privacy Policy and procedures, or believe a privacy breach has occurred and would like to make a complaint, a complaint can be made to our internal dispute resolution scheme by the contact methods listed under how to contact Shield Mercantile.

If your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can lodge an external complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

AFCA provides fair and independent financial services complaint resolution that is free to consumers.

Website: www.afca.org.au

Email: info@afca.org.au

Telephone: 1800 931 678(Free call)

In writing: Australian Financial Complaints Authority, GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001

How to contact Shield Mercantile Pty Ltd

If you have any enquiries regarding our Privacy Policy and procedures or would like to request access to an individual’s personal information held by us, all enquiries can be directed to:

Contact:          Compliance

Address:         Shield Mercantile Pty Ltd

                        PO BOX 3118

                        Parramatta NSW 2124

Email:             compliance@shieldmerc.com.au

Other contact methods are available on our website (www.shieldmerc.com.au) via the “contact us” link.

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