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SBS Privacy Statement (Updated 9 March 2016)

A PDF version of this policy is available here: PDF (371KB).

SBS Privacy Policy

SBS is committed to providing a safe and welcoming digital environment, and to be open and transparent about how we collect and use your information when you use our website, apps and other online services or interact with us in other ways.

In this Privacy Policy we’ll talk about how SBS manages your personal information (where you disclose identifiable information about yourself), as well as how we manage other information associated with your use of our digital services which we collect but which is effectively anonymous.

In particular, we’d like to help you understand important topics like:

·         What information we collect

·         How we use that information

·         How you can control your information

·         The measures we take to keep your information secure

·         What to do if you need help or have any questions about your personal data.

1. Information we collect and hold

SBS may request, collect and hold the following kinds of information in either electronic or hard copy format.

1. Competition and registration information

When you sign up for a competition, register as an SBS user on our digital services, or request an email newsletter, we will ask you to provide personal details such as your first name, surname, and email address. To help with prize distribution and entry eligibility as part of a competition, SBS may also request a mailing address, phone number and your date of birth.

SBS will also invite you to offer other optional information through your user profile so that we can tailor our services to your specific interests or profile. This includes information such as the types of content you are interested in (for instance, sport, food or movies), and whether you’d like to receive information or offers from our partners.

2. Information you post on our digital services

When you interact with SBS and the SBS community on our digital services as a registered SBS user or using social media (for example by making a public comment on a particular topic), we may collect the information you choose to post (such as your opinion about a matter you are commenting on, which may include sensitive information you choose to make public). You should be careful about making any sensitive or personal information public.

3. Your social media information

Some of our digital services are linked to third party social media services like Facebook or Twitter. You can decide to access or log in to an SBS service using your social media profile, or to connect an SBS related service to a third party social media service. If you do this, SBS can collect your social media user information, and any further information you have permitted the social media site to share with SBS. In choosing to 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 be aware that any posts you make on SBS social media channels including our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profiles may be publicly available and able to be found via search engines. SBS strongly recommends that you become familiar with the privacy settings and terms of your social media account/s.

4. Cookies and other tracking data

When you use SBS’s digital services, information about your usage will automatically be gathered by SBS, or third parties contracted by SBS, through tracking devices including the use of cookies, web beacons and web server logs. These tracking devices are not used to record any personally identifiable information such as your name or email address. The information collected is aggregated, and is effectively anonymous to us.

This information helps us to:

·          monitor, analyse and improve our digital services, for example by showing us what visitors do and don’t use, and assisting us in detecting any problems with our services

·          customise our services based on content accessed, for example by recommending content that matches your interests

·          serve you more relevant advertising based on your site visits

·          manage the number of times you are served particular advertisements.

SBS contracts with a range of third party providers for these purposes.

The type of information gathered typically includes geographic location, date and time of site visits, your server (IP) address.

5. By contacting or interacting with SBS for a specific reason such as lodging a complaint or applying for a job

SBS may collect and hold personal and sensitive information about you in order to respond to any enquiries, or to carry out our business and operational functions, such as personnel management. The information we collect will depend on the type of information we need to manage these matters.

For example personnel records may include personal and sensitive information such as name, address, date of birth, disabilities, place of birth, ancestry, tax file number, and relationship information. Recruitment records may include employment history and experience, referees and other employment related information. SBS studio audience registration records may include sensitive information such as cultural background, political party affiliation and other organisation affiliation information.

6. Collecting personal information from children and young people

SBS is committed to providing a safe and welcoming digital environment for children and young people. Some of our activities, such as SBS Learn, are directed to children and young people. SBS may collect personal information directly from children and young people for the purpose of these activities.

Where SBS considers that capacity to consent to the collection of the personal information is at issue, SBS will notify a parent or guardian of the activity, and seek their consent.

If you are a parent or guardian, you should read and explain this Privacy Policy and any applicable house rules with your child if you think they may not understand how it applies.

7. Information sourced from other parties

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).

2. How we use your information

SBS will use and disclose your personal information for:

·         the main purpose for which it was collected

·         appropriate secondary purposes under the terms of the Privacy Act, such as where you have consented to the secondary use or disclosure, or where SBS considers you would reasonably expect SBS to use or disclose the information.

Whenever we collect information from you, it’s for purposes related to our core functions and to help us provide you with a better service. This includes:

Providing the product or service you have requested – such as sending you an email newsletter, accepting your entry into a competition, or giving you access to an app.

Understanding our audience behaviour to improve our services, or your experience of our services – such as website optimisation for a better online experience.

Giving you a more personalised experience by providing you with information that is relevant to your unique interests – such as making program recommendations.

Helping us sell advertising – so that we can reinvest in the free services provided to you.

To enable you to engage with SBS and other SBS users, for example by re-publishing content you provide to us such as competition entries or social media posts together with your name or social media handle or profile name.

In providing and managing the services offered by SBS, SBS may need to make your information available to third party service 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.

SBS contracts with a range of party providers for these purposes. These include Roy Morgan (you may read the Roy Morgan Privacy Policy here). If you would like to learn more about how SBS uses third parties to collect and use information on this website please contact the SBS Privacy Contact Officer (see the contact details section below).

Cookies and other tracking data

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.

No attempt will be made to identify SBS website users or their browsing activities except where necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a person’s life or health, or as otherwise permitted or required by law.

SBS may combine the anonymous information about you collected from your use of our digital services to build up an idea about the types of products or services and advertising that might interest you.

By understanding more about you, we are able to serve you more tailored, relevant advertising and SBS content. When this information is used to target more relevant advertising to you it is known as online behavioural advertising. Revenue generated from personalised advertising is used to improve the free digital services from SBS.

You can opt out of these targeted services – see under ‘How you can control your information’.

3. How you can control your information

SBS is committed to helping you control the collection and use of your personal information, including marketing communications.

You may opt-out from receiving electronic communications from us (including  surveys or notifications) by changing your account settings through the appropriate link on the subscription preferences page or following the unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

Please note that if you have an active SBS profile, there are certain service notifications that you may not opt-out of, such as notifications of changes to SBS services or policies. If you have installed a mobile app and you wish to stop receiving push notifications, you can change the settings either on your mobile device or through the app.

You may choose to opt out of the tracking devices used on SBS’s digital services. 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 and your experience will not be fully optimal.

To opt out of SBS’s customised services such as content recommendations and targeted advertising, use this link: Cxense opt-out.

Information about opt-out options for third party online behavioural advertising is available on the Your Online Choices website – Your Ad Choices:

You can find out more about online behavioural advertising here:

·         Office of the Australian Information Commissioner: Privacy Fact Sheet 4 Online Behavioural Advertising

·         Your Online Choices: A guide to behavioural advertising.

Accessing and correcting your personal information

If you subscribe to SBS email newsletters or have created an SBS profile, you can access and correct profile data about yourself at any time by logging into the SBS website.

You’re also entitled to access records that contain personal information about yourself by contacting the SBS Privacy Contact Officer (see the contact details section below). You may also seek the correction of any information held by SBS.

SBS will take reasonable steps to correct the personal information it holds to ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which it is held, it is accurate, up to date, complete and not misleading.

Anonymity and pseudonymity

Where possible, you may also interact with SBS anonymously or using a pseudonym 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 with a pseudonym, 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.

4. Security

SBS uses a combination of technical, administrative, personnel and physical measures to safeguard personal information in its possession against loss, theft and unauthorised use, disclosure or modification.

However, no one can guarantee the complete safety of your information. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (for example, if you feel that the security of any account you might have with us has been compromised), please immediately notify us of the problem by contacting the SBS Privacy Contact Officer (see the contact details below).

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.

5. Compliance with Australian legislation

SBS is a government agency and is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to the personal information it collects.

The Privacy Act 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 in the Privacy Act 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.

The SBS Codes of Practice set out how SBS manages 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. Information on the SBS Codes of Practice and the complaint process is available here.

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.

6. Changes to the SBS Privacy Policy

SBS will review and update this Privacy Policy from time to time. Updates will be posted to the SBS Privacy web page.

7. 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 the contact details 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 contact details below). The Australian Information Commissioner may then investigate and attempt to conciliate the matter.

8. How to get more information

If after reading this policy you have any questions or concerns, please contact the SBS Privacy Contact Officer:



+61 (0)2 9430 3878

Freecall 1800 500 727

TTY via NRS call 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 500 727


Privacy Contact Officer

SBS Corporate Affairs

Locked Bag 028

Crows Nest NSW 1585


Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)

The OAIC can investigate complaints about acts or practices that may interfere with an individual’s privacy. Contact details are set out on the OAIC website (