Australian Astronomical Observatory Privacy Policy

The AAO, as a division of the Department of Industry is bound by the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) under the Privacy Act 1988 with respect to collection, use and disclosure of personal information. The department also follows the Guidelines for Federal and ACT Government Websites. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has also issued Guidelines to the Information Privacy Principles.

Clickstream data

Clickstreams are the paths a user takes when navigating a web site and the internet in general. When you visit one of our sites, our servers may record the following information for statistical purposes:

  • The user's server (IP) address and machine name
  • The date and time of visit to the site
  • The pages accessed and documents downloaded
  • The number of bytes transmitted and received for each request
  • The previous site or page visited
  • Search terms used
  • The type of browser used.

The department examines this information to determine the traffic through the server and to specific pages or applications. In order to deliver better services, we also perform statistical analysis to establish priorities and allocate resources.

No attempt will be made 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 server logs.

The statistics and log files may be preserved indefinitely and used at any time and in any way necessary to prevent security breaches and to ensure the integrity of the information supplied by the department.

Cookies

A cookie is a short piece of data which is sent from a web server to a web browser on the user's machine when the browser visits the server's site. The cookie is stored on the user's machine, but it is not an executable program and cannot do anything to your machine.

Whenever a web browser requests a file from the same web server that sent the cookie, the browser sends a copy of that cookie back to the server along with the request. In this way, the server knows you have visited before and can co-ordinate your access to different pages on its web site. A server cannot find out a name or e-mail address, or anything about a user's computer, by using cookies.

We use cookies to obtain session details for access to parts of our sites. Cookies are essential in providing a seamless access to some on-line databases. Cookie information is not stored or collected by the department.

E-mail addresses

We will only record your e-mail address if you send us a message or supply it when participating in a discussion forum, in which case it will be visible to other users of that forum.

Your email address will only be used by us for the purpose for which you have provided it and will not be added to a mailing list unless you have asked us to, nor will we disclose it except as described in the previous paragraph.

Security

Once the department receives information from you via e-mail or any other means, the information is in a secure environment. Your personal information will not be released unless the law permits it or your permission is granted.

You need to be aware of inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the Internet.

If you have concerns in this regard, the Department has other ways of obtaining and providing information. Normal mail, telephone and fax facilities are available.

Links to External Websites

The Department of Industry website contains links to other websites. The department is not responsible for the content and the privacy practices of other websites. The department encourages you to examine each website's privacy policy.

Freedom of Information

For details about access to information held by the department, please contact the department's Freedom of Information Officer (via the right-hand panel).

How to Contact Us

Telephone: +61 2 6213 7742
Facsimile: +61 2 6213 7367

Post Privacy Officer
Corporate Strategy Branch
Department of Industry
Level 13, 10 Binara Street, Canberra City ACT 2601
GPO Box 9839, Canberra ACT 2601