In accordance with the Guidelines for Federal and ACT Government World Wide Websites issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner, the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) provides the following privacy statements.
Security of your information
DVA seeks to comply with the Information Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) in the collection, storage, use and disclosure of personal information in its possession. The Privacy Act provides for specific rights and remedies of individuals in the event of a breach by the department of its duties under the act.
DVA provides a secure environment and a reliable system. However, you should be aware that there may be inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the internet.
DVA Secure Web Services is designed to minimise these risks as much as possible, and provide a secure mechanism when seeking or providing personal information.
If you are seeking or providing information of a personal nature and you are not using DVA Secure Web Services, DVA suggests that you use over-the-counter, postal, fax or telephone services.
Some interactive services on this website may request personal information as part of the provision of the service. DVA encrypts all data transmitted between your computer's web browser and DVA's computers when you make use of any of these services. The encryption process used by DVA is secure socket layer (SSL). For SSL encryption to work, your browser must support SSL. Freely available browsers that support SSL include Netscape (version 3 or higher) and Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 4 or higher).
Note: External sites that are linked to the DVA site are outside DVA's control and you are advised to review their privacy and security statements when visiting those sites.
Site visit data
DVA makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes:
- the user's server address
- the user's top level domain name (e.g. .com, .gov, .au, .uk etc.)
- the date and time of the visit to the site
- the pages accessed and documents downloaded
- the previous site visited
- the type of browser used.
DVA will not make any attempt to identify users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the internet service provider's logs.
A cookie is a collection of information, usually including a username and the current date and time, stored on the local computer of a person using the World Wide Web, used chiefly by websites to identify users who have previously registered or visited their site.
Cookies can be 'persistent' or 'session-based':
- persistent cookies are stored on your computer, contain an expiration date, and may be used to track your browsing behaviour upon returning to the website from which the cookie was issued
- session-based cookies are short-lived, are used only during a browsing session, and expire when you close your browser.
The DVA website (http://www.dva.gov.au) uses session cookies during a search query of the website. Our internet service provider has assured us that no cookies are employed on the website except for those associated with the search engine. Website statistics for the DVA website are generated from the web logs as outlined above under 'Site visit data'.
Once you have closed your browser, the session cookie set by the DVA website is destroyed and DVA does not maintain any personal information that might identify you should you visit our website at a later date.
The DVA secure website (https://secure.dva.gov.au) uses a session cookie to help manage the secure session. This cookie is set when the user logs into DVA Secure Web Services. Once you have closed your browser, the session cookie is destroyed and DVA does not maintain any personal information that might identify you should you use DVA Secure Web Services at a later stage.
DVA does not use persistent cookies on its websites.
Use of email
At the present time, it is not possible to guarantee the security of email forwarded to the Department of Veterans' Affairs via the internet. In order to protect your privacy and the privacy of others, we request that you do not send us personal information by email.
DVA will not forward information of a personal nature by internet email. We will only forward such information by traditional means, such as post, fax or telephone, if appropriate.
If you choose to use internet email to request information, please include a postal address, fax number and/or telephone number. A DVA representative can then contact you by your preferred method.
If you subscribe to a mailing list on any of DVA's websites, your email address and any other personal information that you might provide will be maintained on our mailing list. The mailing list is hosted by an external service provider. It will only be used for the purpose for which you have provided it and will not be added to another mailing list without your prior consent, which DVA will seek through a request in writing. We will not use your email address for any other purpose and will not disclose it without your consent.
The publication of electronic addresses on this website is for the information of users. DVA does not authorise the receipt of commercial electronic messages (generally known as spam) at any published electronic address. They are to be used for legitimate correspondence only.