Privacy Notice

The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) requires the Department of Home Affairs (the department) to notify an individual of certain matters when it collects personal information about them. This is your notification of those matters.

What does the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) do?

TIS National is an interpreting service provided by the department. TIS National provides language services for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.

TIS National delivers the following services:

  • Immediate phone interpreting
  • ATIS automated immediate phone interpreting
  • Pre-booked phone interpreting
  • Pre-booked on-site interpreting
  • A range of informative publications and promotional materials about our services

What is considered ‘personal information’?

Personal information is information or an opinion, whether correct or not, about an individual who is reasonably identifiable.

Personal information also includes sensitive personal information, which is defined in the Privacy Act as information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or practices, criminal records, membership of professional or trade associations or trade unions, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, political opinions, membership of political associations and health, genetic and biometric information.

When and how does TIS National collect your personal information?

TIS National collects personal information of all parties involved in our services, including interpreters, non-English speaking persons and agency clients who wish to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.

Generally, TIS National collects personal information directly from you. We collect this information from you when you provide information to us on the telephone or over the internet. For example, you may contact us on the telephone or over the internet to make an enquiry, provide feedback, send us an email, make a booking or use our interpreting services.

We may also collect personal information from other organisations (including government agencies and contracted service providers) for the purpose of providing interpreting services.

We also record short portions of interpreting calls for quality assurance and integrity purposes. Personal information of interpreters and others involved in the service will be collected in these recordings.

Why does TIS National collect and use your personal information?

TIS National collects your personal information where it is reasonably necessary and directly related to providing interpreting services and processing related payments. We may also use your personal information for purposes related to quality assurance, security and integrity of our interpreting services.

What types of personal information does TIS National collect?

When you use our interpreting services, we may ask for information about your identity. This could include your name, address, phone number, date of birth, account number, policy number or other identification number. 

The Privacy Act places strict conditions on the collection of sensitive personal information. This includes the collection of biometric information. A recording of your voice is biometric information.

TIS National records a small segment, or segments, of the interpreting services provided. These recordings only capture the voices of our interpreters, but may also record personal information of clients where an interpreter is repeating what has been said by a client. We collect this information for quality assurance purposes and to ensure the integrity of the interpreting service we provide.

If you are an interpreter providing interpreting services for TIS National, or an agency client, we may also collect a record of your voice to create a voice password or to create a ‘voiceprint’. These records are securely stored in our contracted service provider’s voiceprint database.

We only collect sensitive personal information from you with your consent. We will ask you to give your consent where the collection of your sensitive personal information is necessary or directly related to providing you with one of our services. You may choose not to give your consent; however, this may impact on our ability to provide our services to you.

TIS National may disclose your personal information

TIS National discloses personal information to clients, interpreters and organisations for the purpose of facilitating interpreting services, ensuring the quality, security and integrity of our services, and requesting payment for those services.

The personal information disclosed may include your name, address, phone number, date of birth, photograph, account number, policy number or other identification number.

TIS National may also disclose personal information where the disclosure is authorised or required by an Australian law.  An Australian law includes a law of a State or Territory. In accordance with law, TIS National may also disclose your personal information to the department, other government agencies or third parties (including the person who is the subject of a complaint) for the purposes of responding to a complaint or providing feedback to improve our services.

Website data

See our security notice for information about what data we collect about your interactions with this website and how we use and disclose this data.

How to access or correct your personal information or make a privacy complaint

You can seek access to information about yourself in TIS National records (other than exempt records) under the Privacy Act or Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

You can ask us to amend the personal information we hold about you if you think that the information:

  • is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading; and
  • has been, is being, or is available to be used for an administrative purpose; and
  • does not give rise to any questions of the person's identity.

The best way to access your personal information or to seek to amend or annotate a record depends on the circumstances.

For further information on how to do this or to make a complaint if you believe TIS National has wrongly collected or handled your information, please contact us using the contact details below.

Should you have concerns in relation to the privacy practices of an organisation we provide interpreting services for, we encourage you to read their privacy policy. This should contain information on how you may make a complaint or an enquiry regarding their privacy practices.   

How to contact us

You can contact us by completing the department’s online feedback form.

Alternatively, you can write to us at:  

TIS National
 Privacy Matters
 GPO Box 241
 Melbourne VIC 3001

More information

Further information about how the department collects, stores, uses and discloses personal information (including sensitive information) can be found in Form 1442i – Privacy Notice and our Privacy Policy, available at