If life in danger call Triple Zero 000
If life in danger call Triple Zero 000

FAQ - Privacy Collection Notice

This notice explains:

  • who we are and what we do
  • what information we collect about you when you use our services and the ways we collect it
  • the reasons why we collect personal information and what we do with it
  • why we may share your information as well as who we may share it with.

We are Lifeline Australia. We are a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services through a distributed network of Lifeline centres. If you need someone to speak to, either about an experience you are having or because you are worried about someone else, then we are here to listen.

You can access further information about our services under the ‘about’ section of our website. We also have information toolkits and more self-service information is available in Resources (lifeline.org.au).

We offer confidential crisis support with a trained Lifeline Crisis Supporter when you are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping.  At Lifeline we listen without judgement and provide a safe space to discuss your needs, worries, or concerns.  We will work with you to support your safety and plan next steps, including other supports when needed.  If we think you or someone else is at risk of serious harm, we may ask for more information such as a name or location, to contact emergency services.  To learn more about what to expect when you call Lifeline, watch this video

Depending on your interaction with us, we might collect the following information:

  • Your name or the names of people you tell us about, such as friends or family you are concerned about.
  • Your telephone number – if you use our text-based service then this will be used to communicate with you. Our telephone service might also display the number you call us from.
  • Your address or location – if we have concerns about your safety or that of others, or where life is in danger, we need to support you by asking emergency services to visit your location.
  • Details about you and others which are relevant to the call, for example, if you tell us about your health, about the loss of a loved one, about a drug or alcohol problem affecting you or someone you know, or if you are thinking about suicide or are worried that someone you know might be at risk of serious harm. We may take notes about the things you say to support you.
  • If you use our online chat, our service will take details about the device you are using, such as your IP Address. Cookies are used for this service to run.

The main purpose we collect information about you is to provide crisis support services.

When you contact us, either by phone, text, or our online chat, you might provide us with information about you that could be used to identify you. We use this information to understand your current situation and the reason for your call, to listen to your needs, and to support you with information that might help you through the experience. We may use the information you give us by helping you to develop a safety plan which will include mapping out steps you can take to help manage your situation. If we believe someone is at risk of serious harm, we may share some information with emergency services. Only necessary information is shared with emergency services to support you and the safety of others. We also use the information we collect to improve our services.

Yes – when you contact us, either by phone, text, or our online chat, you can do this without telling us your name or by using a pseudonym (a fake name). If you are concerned about the privacy of other people, you can also create a pseudonym for them or avoid stating their names.

Please be aware that if you speak with us anonymously, it might be hard for us to provide a copy of the conversation to you later, if you request access to it.

We may record calls for training and quality purposes. It is your choice if your call will be recorded or not.  If you chose to have your call recorded before speaking with us, you can still change your mind immediately upon connecting with us or at any other time during your call.  You can tell the Crisis Supporter you are speaking to you want the recording stopped and they will turn it off.

We advise you that a partial recording, until the time the call recording is stopped, will be retained by Lifeline Australia and held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

We also keep copies the text and online chat conversations in full.  The Lifeline Crisis Supporter you speak with may take notes during the conversation.

If you have contacted Lifeline, you can access a copy of the interaction with us. For example, you can request a transcript of a call, or the notes taken during the call. You can also request a copy of the text or online chat conversation history. If you think the information, we have is wrong then you can ask for this to be updated as well.

You can access or seek to update your information by sending an email to privacy@lifeline.org.au.

For privacy and security reasons, we can only provide access to the person who made the call in the first place, or to the person who used the text and online chat services. When you contact us to request access, we may need to ask for more information from you for us to find the information and make sure it was you we spoke to. If we cannot confidently identify or verify a call recording or transcript is yours, then we might not be able to give access to the information.

We will not collect information from you unless you choose to provide it and we will get your consent if we need to. When you call us, an automated voice will let you know a call may be recorded and that you can opt out of having your call recorded before connecting with a Crisis Supporter. You can also ask the Lifeline Crisis Supporter to stop recording the call. You can withdraw the consent you give at any time, however any information recorded until the time your consent is withdrawn will be stored and managed in accordance with our Privacy Policy. If you use our text or online chat service, they will also tell you how you can learn more about your privacy.
If we believe you or someone else is at risk of being seriously harmed, then we collect information to share with emergency services without seeking consent because we have a duty of care to protect people at risk.

We might share your information with emergency services if we think you or someone else is at risk of being seriously harmed.

If you contact us using a third-party service such as a translator or the National Relay Service, then we will also share information with the third-party service so that they can communicate with you. If you are concerned about how the third-party service protects your privacy, you will need to contact them.

We also might use a third-party service provider to help us run our services. From time-to-time that service provider might need to access our systems to support our services.

Lifeline keeps all the information it collects and holds secure. Lifeline is committed to the security and data protection of your information to ensure it is kept safe.
Lifeline will never ask you for personal details, such as your credit card numbers, bank account details, or any passwords to a service.
If you are worried that your information might have been breached, you can contact the privacy team by emailing privacy@lifeline.org.au

We keep your information for a minimum period required by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and other related laws. 

Because of the nature of our services, and for privacy and security reasons, we can only give information to the person who spoke to us. If you have a concern, you can contact our privacy team by emailing privacy@lifeline.org.au.

If you wish to make a complaint about how Lifeline has handled your information or because you believe we have breached your privacy or want to ask questions about how we handle your information, then you can contact the privacy team on privacy@lifeline.org.au 

If you are not satisfied about how we resolved your complaint, then you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-complaints/.

Our Privacy Policy explains more about:

  • the types of information we collect
  • how we use and with whom we share personal information and when
  • how we protect and manage your privacy.

The policy is available on our website here.

More information