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SBS Privacy Statement (Updated 12 March 2014)

A PDF version of this policy is available here: PDF (336KB).

SBS Privacy Policy

When you interact with SBS – whether by entering a competition, signing up to a newsletter, or calling us to leave feedback – you are providing SBS with personal information about yourself. This Privacy Policy is to inform you about when and how SBS may collect your personal information, and what we use it for. It will also provide you with the tools you need to let us know if you want us to correct or remove your information.

1. Scope of this Privacy Policy
2. What personal information does SBS collect?
3. How and why does SBS collect information?
4. Use and disclosure of personal information
5. Anonymity and pseudonymity
6. Access and correction
7. Storage and security
8. Complaints
9. Relevant contacts

1. Scope of this Privacy Policy

1.1 General
This Privacy Policy applies to personal information collected by SBS. In broad terms, “personal information” means any information about an individual who is reasonably identifiable.

1.2 Exemption for SBS program material
The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) does not apply to any acts done or practices engaged with in relation to SBS's program material. The general purpose of this exemption, and the exemption for the acts and practices of private sector media organisations done in the course of journalism, is to allow for the free flow of information to the public.

There is provision in the SBS Codes of Practice for the privacy of individuals in SBS content. If you feel that SBS content that relates to you has breached the SBS Codes of Practice, you can make a Code complaint. For more information on the SBS Codes of Practice and the complaint process, see and, or contact SBS (see Relevant contacts below).

1.3 Privacy and third party organisations
This Privacy Policy only applies to SBS and its digital services. It does not apply to any other company or organisation, including organisations whose digital services are linked to SBS’s online content or services (such as social media platforms and online retailers). If you are using a third party site to interact with SBS, or you navigate from the SBS website to a separate site to view advertising or to engage with a service, this activity is not covered by SBS’s Privacy Policy.

2. What personal information does SBS collect?

SBS collects a wide range of personal information in the course of its operations, for purposes that are directly related to its core functions or activities. SBS collects personal information about you for the following reasons:

  • Because we need it to provide a product or service you have requested – such as providing an email newsletter, entering a competition.

  • Because you have provided it to us – by participating in forums or commenting, by asking us a questions or making a complaint, or by registering for or acquiring a service (for example, registering for SBS ON DEMAND services).

  • Because we are trying to improve our services, or your experience of our services – by collecting information about you, your preferences and your use of our online services.

  • Because of your relationship with us – if you work for SBS, or are applying for a job, work experience placement, or an internship.

  • For any other purpose related to the above.

For more information about the kinds of information SBS collects, the SBS Personal Information Digest (PID) sets out the types of records of personal information SBS keeps, their purpose, the classes of individuals about whom the records are kept, the period for which they are kept, how they are stored, the persons entitled to have access to the personal information contained in them and the conditions under which they are entitled to that access, and how individuals can obtain access to the personal information.

SBS's PID can be accessed through the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (

3. How and why does SBS collect information?

3.1 Information you give us

SBS collects personal information which is given to us by you. You may do this because you wish to receive a particular service, or because you wish to give us feedback or make a complaint (see section 2 above).

When SBS collects personal information from you, we will generally inform you of the reason the information is being collected and how we will use it (unless the reason for collection is self-evident).

3.2 Data we collect from your use of digital services

If you use SBS’s digital services, SBS and its internet service provider will automatically gather information about your visits. This information is aggregated, and is effectively anonymous to us. It helps us to improve our services by showing us what visitors do and don’t use. It also assists us in detecting any problems with our service. Information gathered includes:

  • the user's server (IP) address;

  • the user's top-level domain name (e.g. .au, .com, .gov);

  • the date and time of the visit;

  • the pages accessed and documents downloaded;

  • advertising click-through metrics;

  • the previous site visited; and

  • the type of browser used.

No attempt will be made to identify SBS website users or their browsing activities except as required by a law enforcement agency exercising a warrant to inspect the service provider's logs.

SBS and third parties contracted by SBS make use of tracking device to enhance the functionality of this website, including the use of cookies (flash and non-flash) and web beacons. These tracking devices are not used to record any personal information (such as names, email address). If you choose to opt out of these tracking devices you may not be able to access all of the services on the SBS website such as SBS ON DEMAND. If you wish to opt out of these tracking devices more information about opt-out options is available on the Your Online Choices website at

3.3 Information that you give us via third party platforms or services

Some SBS services and websites are integrated with third party social media services like Facebook or Twitter. You can decide to access or log in to an SBS site using your social media profile, or to connect an SBS related service to a third party social media service. If you do this, the information SBS can collect may include your social media user ID information, and any further information you have permitted the social media site to share with SBS. If you access or connect to SBS services via social media, you are authorising SBS to collect, store, use and disclose such information and content in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

You should also be aware that any posts you make via social media on SBS platforms may be publically available and able to be found via search engines. SBS strongly recommends that all users become familiar with the privacy settings and terms of your social media accounts.

3.4 Information from other sources
In some circumstances, SBS may source information about you which is on the public record, or can be requested from third parties. For example, when you apply for a job or internship at SBS, SBS will seek information from you directly, but may also collect information about you from third parties (including your previous employers and recruitment consultants).

4. Use and disclosure of personal information

SBS may use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:

  • to provide a service that you’ve requested;

  • to measure your experience with SBS’s services;

  • to customise, enhance or improve SBS’s services;

  • to provide technical support, or respond to any enquiries;

  • if permitted or required by law;

  • it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a person’s life or health; or

  • if you consent to the disclosure (this may be express or implied).

SBS may seek to re-publish content you provide to us (for example, competition entries or social media posts, together with your name or social media ID).

If data about your use of SBS’s digital services is de-identified, aggregated or otherwise made anonymous, SBS may collect, use and share that information for any purpose with third parties provided that in doing so we do not reveal any personal information and the use is related to SBS’s activities.

In providing and managing the services offered by SBS, SBS may need to make your information available to third party services and content providers, including providers of cloud services, website hosts, and other companies. These third parties may be located overseas in countries including the USA, Europe and Singapore.

SBS will ensure that any third parties who receive your personal information from SBS follow the same standards and obligations set out in this Privacy Policy, and only use your information for the specific purpose and service they are providing to you or SBS.

5. Anonymity and pseudonymity

Where possible, you may interact with SBS anonymously should you choose to do so. For example, if you wish to provide feedback without requiring a response from SBS, you will not be required to provide a full name or email address.

However, in some cases it will not be practicable to interact with you anonymously, or it may be impossible to provide the service you are requesting without some form of personal information. For example, if you wish to subscribe to an SBS email newsletter, an email address must be provided.

6. Access and correction

Individuals are entitled to obtain access to records that contain personal information about them, except to the extent that SBS is required or authorised to refuse access under any law of the Commonwealth that provides for access by persons to documents (e.g. the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)).

Individuals can obtain information regarding access to records that contain personal information about them by contacting the SBS Privacy Contact Officer (see Relevant contacts below). Individuals may also seek the correction of any information held by SBS.

SBS will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information it holds is accurate, relevant to its purpose, up to date, complete and not misleading.

7. Storage and security

Depending on how we received your personal information, SBS may store it in electronic and hard copy format.

SBS takes such steps as are reasonable and practicable to ensure that the personal information it holds is protected against interference, unauthorised access and other forms of misuse. Measures taken may be physical, electronic, or procedural. SBS staff are advised to treat personal information with care, and to use it in accordance with this Privacy Policy and current laws.

In some instances, including where you are using third party social media platforms to engage with SBS, these platforms are not under the control of SBS. If security is of concern to you, we encourage you to carefully consider the terms and conditions and security used by any third party platform.

8. Complaints

If you think that an act or practice of SBS has interfered with your privacy you may make a complaint to SBS. You will need to identify yourself and provide your complaint in written form addressed to the SBS Privacy Contact Officer (see Relevant contacts below).

The SBS Privacy Contact Officer will investigate your complaint and will endeavour to provide a written response within 30 days of receipt of the complaint setting out SBS's decision.

If you are dissatisfied with SBS's response to your complaint you can take your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (see below). The Australian Information Commissioner may then investigate and attempt to conciliate the matter.

9. Relevant contacts

You can obtain further information about SBS's Privacy Policy by contacting the SBS Privacy Contact Officer.

Sydney: +61 2 9430 3878
Freecall: 1800 500 727
Freecall: 1800 500 727
TTY via NRS: call 1800 555 677 and ask for 800 500 727 (for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment)

Privacy Contact Officer
Corporate Affairs, Strategy and Communication
SBS Locked Bag 028
Crows Nest NSW 1585



Contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
Contact details are set out on the OAIC website:

Enquiries line: 1300 363 992
If calling from outside Australia call +61 2 9284 9749
TTY: call 133 677 then ask for 1300 363 992
Speak and Listen users: call 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 363 992
Internet relay users: connect to the National Relay Service then ask for 1300 363 992

+61 2 9284 9666


GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001