Sections of this policy
This policy is broken into sections to make it easier to read:
- Who is D&B? The legal entities
- Our data protection practices
- Dealing with individuals anonymously
- Collection and holding of personal information
- Use and disclosure
- Information quality
- Information security and retention
- Access, Correction and Complaints
- D&B D-U-N-S Number registration
- Updates to D&B data protection practices for the internet
- Financial transactions
- Additional information
The D&B group of companies that provide services involving personal information are listed below.
Dun & Bradstreet (Australia) Pty Ltd as trustee for the Dun & Bradstreet Unit Trust [general information]
DUNS 75 340 7170
ACN 006 399 677
Dun & Bradstreet (Australia) Pty Ltd as trustee for the Dun & Bradstreet Unit Trust [a debt collection agency]
DUNS 75 340 7170
ACN 006 399 677
D&B Consumer Credit
[the consumer credit reporting body]
DBCC Pty Ltd
DUNS 75 014 4649
ABN 38 101 620 446
ACN 101 620 446
[scorecard and software developer]
Decision Intellect Pty Ltd
DUNS 75 279 9176
ABN 25 110 289 024
ACN 110 289 024
Perceptive Communication [identity verification]
Perceptive Communication Pty Ltd
MGL [legal services]
Milton Graham Lawyers Pty Ltd
Our data protection practices
D&B understands that while the free flow of information is important it must be balanced against the privacy interests of individuals and businesses. Regardless of how we collect or disseminate information, stringent privacy principles are applied to ensure that the privacy interests of individuals and businesses are respected. Where information relates to individuals those principles embody the privacy principles and the other applicable provisions of the Privacy Act.
This includes using security initiatives such as system monitoring to ensure that personal information is protected from misuse, interference and loss. When you use a D&B system, that use will be monitored.
D&B believes that treating information in this manner is good business.
Dealing with individuals anonymously
Given the nature of D&B's activities, it is not practical for us to deal with individuals anonymously in connection with services that we provide. To ensure that we comply with privacy and other laws, we need to verify a person's identity before disclosing information to them.
When disclosing information about an individual, it is very important that the recipient maintains data accuracy by making sure that the information relates to the correct person, so identification information will be released by D&B where permitted by law, after D&B is satisfied about the identity of a recipient that requests that information.
We collect and hold some information about website visitors indirectly through standard web logs and, including: IP address; what browser is being used; and the domain name from which a visitor entered the site. We normally use this information in the aggregate to administer and improve our web site, and monitor proper website usage.
D&B collects and holds the personal information it needs to provide the products and services it offers. D&B collects the information from its customers and publicly available information sources such as Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) registers as well as individuals.
The reasons that personal information is collected, held, used and disclosed include:
- Determining general business information, including the persons who are responsible for decision making in connection with the business
- Assessing the likelihood of business success; and
- Assisting in credit management.
D&B collects information directly from individuals and businesses. D&B also collects information indirectly from third parties where D&B would have been entitled to collect it directly from the individual or business. For example, when it comes to commercial and consumer credit and debt collection, the credit provider (lender) will disclose information to D&B as permitted by law, and then D&B will not collect it directly from the relevant individual. The main consequence of not collecting personal information from the individual directly is that it will be collected from the credit provider who has, or intends to have, a credit relationship with the individual.
D&B also collects personal information about its customers, or employees or officers of its customers and prospective job applicants, so that it can meet internal operational requirements, complete business transactions, conduct research, deliver products and services, administer accounts, provide customer support, and meet regulatory requirements.
D&B's business products and services include:
- commercial credit reporting;
- other information services including business marketing databases for direct mail, business telemarketing, other sales activities and market research; and
- receivables management including debt collection services.
The information D&B collects to provide its commercial credit reporting and information services are business-related. The personal information collected, held, used and disclosed relates to the owners or principals of the business and to directors, officers and senior management.
Consumer Credit Information - D&B Consumer Credit
D&B's consumer credit related products and services include:
- consumer credit reporting; and
- fraud detection and prevention, including identity verification.
Under Australian Privacy law, credit providers must notify you or seek your consent to exchange credit information about you with D&B. This will include both positive information like monthly repayment history and negative information like defaults and bankruptcies as well as general credit account information. D&B collects and holds information from these credit providers and publicly available sources as permitted by law.
After the period of retention permitted by law, D&B Consumer Credit will de-identify information and use that de-identified information for research purposes as permitted by law.
Consumer debt information
In the course of its receivables management (debt collection) business D&B collects the information it needs about individual debtors, or about principals, owners, directors, other officers and senior management of company debtors, including the amounts owing.
D&B will use and disclose information it holds about an individual for the purpose for which it was collected and for other related purposes for which the individual would reasonably expect us to use the information or to which the individual has agreed (either expressly or impliedly). In many cases the primary purpose of collecting the information is to include it in one or more of our databases so that we can provide it to our customers as part of the product or service they select. Our customers include major corporations, small and medium sized businesses and government bodies and agencies.
When D&B discloses information to customers, our customers must comply with Australian privacy laws (including, where relevant, the Credit Reporting Code of Conduct) when dealing with that personal information.
We ask registered users of our website to choose whether to receive email updates about D&B products and services. We honour the choices made. However, we reserve the right to email customers on rare occasions when we think it is important.
If D&B engages anyone to do something on its behalf (for example, suppliers of internet support services, auditors, process servers or lawyers) then D&B and the service provider may exchange information for the purposes for which the service provider has been engaged. We also use personal information for planning, product development and research purposes. For example, from time to time D&B compiles online transaction and registration information for internal analysis such as researching and identifying market segments and needs. These analyses produce only aggregate data about users.
D&B shares personal information with its related companies in Australia and New Zealand and with members of the D&B group of companies world-wide only where permitted by law.
In most cases where a product or service supplied by D&B is needed by a business outside Australia it is supplied to a D&B entity in the home jurisdiction of the business, for that D&B entity to supply to the business. D&B entities world-wide have access to a global business marketing database and commercial credit products on which D&B records the names of the officers of organisations in Australia. It is not practical to list the countries in this world-wide network.
Information about Australian consumers that is only permitted to be collected by a credit reporting body is not sent overseas. Information collected by our Australian and New Zealand debt collection businesses is held in Australia and New Zealand and not sent to other countries.
D&B may also use or disclose information where it is required or permitted by law to do so.
Information quality is at the heart of any successful information company. Working to ensure that information is up-to-date and accurate benefits the information subject and D&B. To help ensure quality information, D&B employs extensive measures, including contacts with businesses, quality review at both the point of collection and at the end of the information collection process and prompt error correction.
D&B is serious about the security of the information it collects. Accordingly, it employs technical, contractual and administrative steps to ensure that the information is protected against unauthorised access and disclosure. D&B employees undertake training in handling information, with particular emphasis on preserving the privacy interests of individuals and businesses.
D&B will destroy or remove identifying features from information held about an individual or business within a reasonable time after it is no longer needed, where permitted by law. D&B Consumer Credit will remove credit related information from its databases when required by law.
Access, corrections and complaints
D&B has different types of personal information held by different businesses. Your identity will have to be verified before any personal information is accessed. Generally D&B allows individuals and businesses to view information it holds about them within a reasonable time after they have made a request to do so. In some instances D&B will refuse to give an individual or business access to information. If it does so it will provide that individual or business with the reason it has refused them access.
D&B will correct information it has about an individual or business if it discovers, or the individual or business is able to show, the information is incorrect. If an individual or business seeks a correction it must provide evidence of that correction. If D&B disagrees that the information is incorrect, D&B will provide the individual or business with its reasons for taking that view. We will generally aim to respond to your request for correction within 30 days of receiving all of the information necessary to determine the request. Where D&B cannot determine the correctness of the information and the law permits D&B to consult with other parties who are the source of that information, D&B will do so.
D&B will always deal with your access, correction or complaint within a reasonable period. See our Complaints Handling Procedure for more details on how D&B manages privacy complaints, including escalations, and includes contact details for our external dispute resolution body for consumer credit access, correction and complaints matters.
D&B aims to resolve each request related to personal information quickly and efficiently, and D&B's preference is to have the person taking your request solve it wherever possible. Requests will not be escalated where you have not given the person taking your request enough information to know what your request is specifically about.
Speak to our Client Services Centre on 13 23 33 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to gain access to business related information about individuals, make corrections or make a complaint about this type of information.
D&B D-U-N-S Number Registration
D&B provides businesses with the opportunity to apply for a D&B D-U-N-S Number online. The information submitted to obtain the D&B D-U-N-S Number becomes a part of the D&B products and services. Being listed in the D&B database offers benefits to businesses, including identification and recognition in the marketplace. Information in the database is licensed to third parties that offer businesses useful products and services.
A company representative who registers at the web site may be offered an opportunity to obtain a D&B D-U-N-S Number for the company and may also be added to our database.
In most cases a business may have its information removed from business marketing lists published by D&B. Where an authorised representative of the business requests that it be removed from marketing directories, publications and/or mailing lists the business will usually be delisted from marketing products (this will not affect other products such as commercial credit reports). To be delisted, an authorised representative of the business should call our Client Services Centre.
Consumer Credit Information - D&B Consumer Credit
This section of the policy relates to personal information that is consumer creditworthiness information (your eligibility to be provided with consumer credit, your consumer credit history or your capacity to pay consumer credit). It does not apply to personal information that relates to commercial credit.
For more information about personal credit information files and how to access your file go to CheckYourCredit.com.au.
You can also speak to our Public Access Centre on 1300 734 806 or via an email request to PACaustral@dnb.com.au about your consumer creditworthiness information.
For questions about your report (after you have ordered it), please contact Dun & Bradstreet's Public Access Centre on 1300 734 806. Please note that D&B consultants will not be able to see your report unless you have already ordered it and discuss it with them.
If you have a correction to make, please ensure that you provide the Public Access Centre objective evidence of what is wrong (e.g. something that shows both you and the credit provider agree on the change to be made). If there is a dispute between you and the credit provider as to whether the correction should be made, D&B will not be able to make that change until the dispute is resolved.
If you reasonably believe that you have been or are likely to be a victim of fraud (including identity theft), you should report this to businesses that you have loans with as well as the police. You can then ask us to put a ban on release of your consumer creditworthiness information.
When you request a ban, we will ask for a police report reference number and any other documents that you have to support your request. If your request is reasonable, we will put a ban on release of your consumer creditworthiness information for 21 days. During a ban, credit providers would not be able to access your information to give you new consumer credit without written permission. Before the ban is up, D&B Consumer Credit can extend the ban for a reasonable period if you reasonably request it by providing supporting evidence. Please note that D&B Consumer Credit will still record information relating to your existing credit relationships, judgement information and publicly available information during a ban. For example, if you default on payment during a ban period, the default information will be listed and available to credit providers later.
D&B Consumer Credit will not charge you a fee for giving you access to your consumer creditworthiness information by mail or electronically within 10 working days of your request. However we may charge a fee where it is lawful to do so, in circumstances including:
- you make a request unconnected to a refused application more than once per year; or
- you request express processing of your request.
D&B is committed to operate in a compliant environment whereby products and services are delivered in accordance with applicable laws.
Access to credit information by people on your behalf ("access seekers")
If you authorise someone else to access your credit information, and we reasonably believe that person is acting as a business intermediary between you and a credit provider, we may charge that person an access fee where that is permitted by law.
Note that if you appoint someone to act on your behalf, their requests for consumer credit information will count as your requests for accessing consumer creditworthiness.
Use of consumer credit information by D&B Consumer Credit for Pre-Screening
The use and disclosure of consumer credit information by credit providers (lenders), as collected and held by a credit reporting body like D&B Consumer Credit, for the purpose of direct marketing, is limited to making the mailing list shorter, not longer. In accordance with the Privacy Act, D&B Consumer Credit enables credit providers to wash their customer lists before making a new credit offer, also known as "Pre-Screening".
Pre-Screening promotes responsible lending and prevents extension of credit to consumers that may face hardship repaying greater amounts. Allowing Pre-Screening means that it is less likely that you will receive a credit offer if you have a more negative credit rating, as you would not receive the credit offer if the lending is deemed inappropriate (the acceptability rules are set by the credit provider, not D&B Consumer Credit). Opting out of Pre-Screening is not communicated back to the credit provider, and does not stop the credit provider from sending direct marketing information.
D&B enables consumers to opt out of this service by contacting its Public Access Centre on 1300 734 806 or visiting: https://www.checkyourcredit.com.au/Personal to obtain more information. This will prevent a consumer file from being considered for Pre-Screening services only and does not relate to other services provided by D&B in regards to the same information.
For example, the credit provider can still request D&B to provide them with credit information for the management of an existing credit relationship or for a new application, as long as they comply with the law in respect of that request.
Consumer debt information
Speak to our collectors on 1300 356 553 about access to personal information about your consumer debt. If you have your D&B reference number handy, this will make identity verification easier. Note that for legal reasons, full debt verification must occur before any debt information is disclosed by D&B.
D&B may charge a fee for informing an individual or business what information it has about them or for providing a copy of a report. This fee will only be charged where permitted by law, and cover D&B's reasonable costs in locating and supplying the information or report.
To keep up with the rapidly evolving Internet environment, D&B will from time to time review and revise its Internet practices and communicate any updates on its website. Minor changes may be made at anytime without notice. If we make a major change in the way that we use, disclose or protect Internet registration information, we will highlight the change. If possible, we will provide advance notice of any major change through a notice on the web site.
D&B works with partners to support financial transactions on our website. These partners on our behalf collect information, deliver products and services, administer individual accounts, provide customer support, and meet government regulatory requirements, such as GST collection. They operate consistently with the D&B data protection policies and do not sell or voluntarily share information externally.
Our businesses operate across Australia and New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand privacy laws are substantially similar. Where we disclose information to New Zealand related companies as part of our internal operations, we will always comply with Australian law in respect of Australian information and New Zealand law in respect of New Zealand information.