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.

Privacy Notice

What does the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) do?
What is considered 'personal information'?
When and how does TIS National collect your personal information? 
Why does TIS National collect and use your personal information?
TIS National may disclose your personal information
Website data
How to access or correct your personal information or make a privacy complaint
How to contact us
More information

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
  • Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS)
  • Pre-booked phone interpreting
  • On-site interpreting
  • Video remote 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 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 the 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. We also collect next of kin/emergency contact details of interpreters.

Generally, TIS National collects personal information directly from you. We collect this information when you provide information to us on the telephone or over the internet, including by email. 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. If you choose not to provide your personal information, this may affect our ability to provide services to you.

We may also collect personal information from other organisations (including government agencies and contracted service providers) for the purpose of providing interpreting services. We collect next of kin details directly from interpreters for use in the management of emergency situations relating to interpreters.

We may also record interpreting calls for quality assurance and integrity purposes. Agency clients who use TIS National interpreting services to communicate with their non-English speaking clients may also record interpreting calls. Personal information of interpreters and others involved in the service will be collected in any such recordings.

Why does TIS National collect and use your personal information?

TIS National collects your personal information where it is reasonably necessary for and directly related to providing interpreting services and processing related payments. We may also use your personal information for purposes related to quality assurance, accessibility, security and integrity of our interpreting services. This may include conducting surveys. The Department also receives requests from third party organisations to conduct surveys for research purposes. If you are considered a suitable participant, the Department may forward you the survey request to complete. Participation in surveys is not mandatory and will not affect any service the Department provides to you.

If some or all of the information is not collected by the Department, we may not be able to provide you with interpreting services or process related payments.

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, telephone number, date of birth, account number, policy number or other identification number.

The Privacy Act places strict conditions on the collection of sensitive information. This includes the collection of health or biometric information. Information about your vaccination status is health information and a recording of your voice is biometric information.

TIS National may record the interpreting services provided. These recordings may capture personal information of all parties taking part in the interpreting call. If we record calls, 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 vocal password or ‘voiceprint’. These records are securely stored in our contracted service provider’s voiceprint database. We may also collect information about vaccination status from our interpreters. Interpreters can find information on TIS National’s collection and use of COVID vaccination information in our Privacy notice – collection of COVID-19 vaccination status information, available in the interpreter portal in TIS Online.

We only collect sensitive information from you with your consent. We will ask you to give your consent where the collection of your sensitive information is necessary for, or directly related to, providing our services. You may choose not to give your consent, however, this may impact on our ability to provide our services to you, or to offer you certain types of work if you are a TIS National interpreter.

TIS National may disclose your personal information

TIS National discloses personal information for the purposes of facilitating interpreting services, ensuring the quality, security and integrity of our services, and requesting payment for those services. We may disclose personal information to interpreters and agency clients, including government, community and private sector organisations and funding bodies which pay for interpreting services on behalf of other agencies using our services.

The personal information disclosed may include your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, photograph, account number, policy number, other identification number, or the job title and work contact details of agency clients.

TIS National may also disclose personal information where the disclosure is authorised or required by an Australian law, including 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.

Except as otherwise noted in this Privacy Notice, TIS National does not usually disclose personal information to overseas recipients.

Website data

TIS National operates this website with outsourced technical assistance.

When visiting this site, a record of your visit is logged. Information is recorded for statistical purposes and is used to:

  • monitor access to the site
  • discover what information is accessed most/least frequently
  • improve the user experience of the site.
  • The information we log when you access this website may include:
  • your IP or server's address
  • the date and time of your visit to the site
  • the pages accessed
  • whether you have visited our website previously and, if so, how often and when
  • your operating system (for example, Windows 8, Mac OS X, etc.)
  • your web browser version and type (for example, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.)
  • the brand and model of your mobile device (if used)
  • the time taken to transmit information to you
  • the previous internet address from which you came directly to this website
  • your age, gender, language and location (city/town)
  • your interests.

This information is analysed to help us:

  • better understand users of our services
  • show broken links and bottlenecks on our website and other site problems
  • maintain our site for your efficient use.

No attempt is made to identify you through your browsing activities except in the event of an investigation into the improper use of our internet facility, or where a law enforcement agency exercises a warrant to inspect the Internet Service Provider's logs.


We use ‘cookies’ to maintain contact with a user through a website session. A cookie is a small file supplied by us and stored by the web browser software on your computer when you access our site. An explanation of what cookies are and how they work can be found at the site of the Privacy Commissioner. Cookies allow us to recognise you as an individual web user as you browse our website.

Two cookie types may be used by this website:

Session cookies
These exist only for the duration of a web browser session with a particular website. All cookies will be immediately lost when you end your internet session or shut down your computer. Our copy of your information will be automatically deleted twenty minutes after you last used the system. This information is only used to help you use our website systems more efficiently, not to track your movements through the internet or to record private information about you.

Persistent cookies
These exist for a defined period of time (usually beyond the termination of the current session) before expiring.

No personally identifiable information is stored within cookies used by this website. No attempt will be made to identify anonymous users or their browsing activities unless legally compelled to do so, such as in the event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the Internet Service Provider's logs.

Google Analytics

We also use Google Analytics, a web analytics service, to obtain reports that help improve your experience when using our website.

Google Analytics may set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there to help analyse how users use the website. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers that may be located outside Australia.

Google will use this information to evaluate your use of our website, compile reports on website activity for website operators and provide other services relating to website activity and internet usage. You can learn more about how Google processes site visit data here.

Most browsers allow you to choose whether to accept cookies or not. If you do not wish to have cookies placed on your computer, please set your browser preferences to reject all cookies before accessing our website. Please note that if you do this, you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

Alternatively, most browsers allow you to manage how cookies are set and used as you are browsing and clear cookies and browsing data. Also, your browser may have settings allowing you to manage cookies on a site-by-site basis. For example, Google Chrome’s settings allow you to delete existing cookies, allow or block all cookies, and set cookie preferences for websites. Google Chrome also has Incognito mode, which doesn’t store your Chrome history of visited sites or cookies on your device after you close all Incognito windows.

Google Maps

We use the Google Maps Application Programming Interface (API), which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy available at Privacy Policy – Privacy & Terms – Google.

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
  • 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 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), as well as information on access and complaints, can be found in Form 1442i – Privacy Notice and our Privacy Policy, available at