The GE Companies* in Australia take their obligations for protecting personal information seriously. We are bound by, and will abide by, the National Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act (Cth) 1988 ("Privacy Act").
What personal information do we collect and hold?
As a group of companies offering a wide range of products and services we collect and hold a range of personal information from and about people (particularly people who wish to purchase our products or use our services). In the process of conducting our businesses, we are likely to collect a broad range of information about our customers, prospective customers, contractors, suppliers, brokers, introducers, agents, service providers and the people who run the businesses we deal with. This information can include such things as contact details, financial information and supporting documentation (including credit history details), identification information, transaction history information, banking details and personal references. In order to satisfy our legal obligations we may need to retain that information even after a transaction has come to an end (subject to our obligations under the National Privacy Principles).
How we collect personal information?
Wherever it possible and practical to do so, we collect personal information directly from the person concerned. For example, we will collect personal information when a person deals with us in person or over the telephone, sends us a letter, e-mail or fax, or gives or sends us a completed form (such as an application form). There may be occasions, however, where we need to collect personal information we require for a particular purpose from a third party. This might occur, for example, where it is important for us to obtain personal information from an independent third party.
Why do we collect and hold personal information?
We collect this information in order to undertake and complete the many transactions we have with our customers, suppliers, and other parties with whom we do business, to administer the many products we provide and to maintain the business relationships we have that enable us to carry on our business. Personal information collected may also be used for keeping our customers informed of the many products and services we have, which may include using it for direct marketing.
To what other organisations do we disclose personal information?
The National Privacy Principles allow the GE Companies to share personal information provided to any one of them where they are related bodies corporate. Separately, in providing and managing our products and services, we contract with other businesses and may disclose personal information to them in the process. These organisations provide services to the GE Companies and may need access to the personal information we hold in order to enable them to perform those services. We require these companies to adhere to our strict confidentiality requirements for handling personal information and also seek to ensure that they adhere to the National Privacy Principles. For more information about our disclosures of personal information, you will need to refer to the Privacy Notices that we provide to applicants for each of our products.
How do you access the personal information we hold about you and make complaints?
Your personal information and e-mails
If you send us an e-mail the GE Companies will store and make use of your name, address and other information about you contained in your e-mail and in any attachments. When you submit feedback or questions via e-mail, it is very important that you do not disclose any details that could be used by others to gain access to your account. This includes private details such as your username, password or card number. If you receive an e-mail from us, you should only re-transmit, distribute or commercialise the material or information in the e-mail if you are authorised to do so (under the Privacy Act or otherwise).
Your personal information on the web
For statistical purposes we collect information on web site activity (such as the number of users who visit our web sites, the date and time of visits, the number of pages viewed, navigation patterns, what country and what systems users have used to access the site and, when entering one of our web sites from another web site, the address of that web site) through the use of ‘cookies’. This information on its own does not identify an individual but it does provide members of the Group with statistics that can be used to analyse and improve their web sites.
Our web sites may contain links to non-Group web sites. Whilst such links are provided for your convenience, you should be aware that the information handling practices of the linked web sites might not be the same as ours. While we try to link only to sites that share our high standards and respect for privacy, we are not responsible for the privacy practices of other web sites to which you provide your personal information.
Web site security
Whenever personal information is sent via our web site we use high security levels to protect it. These security levels are standard for internet banking and large scale e-commerce sites and involve the use of 128-bit encryption. You can check the security level of a web page by clicking on your internet browser's padlock or key icon. Encryption is the standard way of protecting your information as it is transmitted between you and us. This involves converting the information into an unreadable code using a "key" (and also de-coding it using this "key"). The longer the key, the more difficult it is for others to break the encrypted code.
A cookie is a tiny element of data that a web site can send to your browser, which may then be stored on your hard drive, so you can be recognised when you return. You may set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie. Cookies are used on our web sites to monitor the traffic to the site. They are used to:
- count the number of visitors to each page.
- to track the path each visitor takes to navigate this web site.
- to assist when our web site requires you to register or login to gain access to the site and as part of registration processes.
- to store the username while the user is logged into the site.
- to track the number of times the user has tried to log in during a single visit
- to facilitate targeted marketing to you.
- to allow third-party vendors, including Google, show GE ads on sites across the Internet.
- to allow third-party vendors, including Google, o serve ads based on someone's past visits to GE web sites.
Web site advertisements
We use a third-party technology to place our advertisements on other web sites. This technology will install a cookie on your computer when you view our ad. These cookies will not contain any information that personally identifies you (such as your name or e-mail address) but they will contain a randomly generated number that is unique to your browser and can be recognised by a "web beacon" (transparent GIF file) on our site if you click through to our site from one of our ads. This allows us to keep track of how many unique visitors we have to our site and from what ads they entered, so that we can measure the effectiveness of our ads and ad placements. The privacy policies of the web sites on which we advertise, and through which the cookies are installed should inform you about the cookie, and you may of course set your browser to reject cookies. To learn more about the third-party ad-serving technology that we use, cookies, and how to "opt-out," please view the privacy policies of our service providers, listed below:
Online Service Centres
When you register for access to one of our online Service Centres, the information collected is compared with the details we already have stored, such as your name, date of birth and card number, which we have previously collected from you so we can verify that you are the person seeking access to your personal information. If you do not provide the information requested, you will not be able to access the online Service Centre. *The GE Companies in Australia include all companies which are ultimately owned by General Electric Company and which are incorporated or operate in Australia. These companies include GE Capital Finance Australasia Pty Ltd ABN 93 070 396 020, GE Capital Finance Australia ABN 42 008 583 588, GE Automotive Financial Services ABN 80 004 187 419, GE Mortgage Solutions Limited ABN 85 070 797 894, Hallmark Life Insurance Company Limited ABN 87 008 446 884, GE Personal Finance Pty Ltd ABN 54 008 443 810, Avco Access Pty Ltd ABN 93 000 032 075, and GE Finance Australasia Pty Ltd ABN 88 000 015 485.