Practice Privacy Notice

 

This notice explains how my practice processes your personal information in accordance with the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act (no4 of 2013).  It will help you to understand how I collect and use your information, and under which circumstances the practice may, or is legally obligated, to share your information.

 

My practice is committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring that your personal information is collected and used lawfully.  My practice is committed to taking the appropriate, reasonable, technical and organisational measures to prevent the unlawful access to,  or loss of  / damage to your personal information.

 

The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act (no 4 of 2013)

The Purpose of the POPI Act:

The purpose of the POPI Act is to give effect to your constitutional right to privacy. It provides conditions to safeguard and secure the integrity and confidentiality of personal information that is processed by another party.

 

What is personal information?

Personal information is defined by the POPI Act as information relating, but not limited to:

 

  • Your race, gender, marital status and age;

  • Your educational, medical, financial, criminal or employment history;

  • Any identifier assigned to you such as your email address, physical address, telephone or identity number;

  • Your biometric information such as DNA, body measurements or fingerprints;

  • Your personal opinions, view and preferences;

  • Correspondence sent by you that is of an implicit or explicit private nature; and

  • The views and opinions of another individual about you

 

What is Processing of Personal information?

The processing of personal information is defined by the POPI Act as any activity relating to the:

 

  • Collection, receipt, recording, organising, sorting, updating, retrieval or use of personal information;

  • Dissemination by mean of transmission, distribution or the making available in any form of personal information; and

  • Merging, linking, restriction, degradation, erasure or destruction of personal information

What personal information does the practice collect?

The practice only collects lawfully permitted information.  The includes, but is not limited to, the following:

 

  • Your name, contact details and other information as required for administrative purpose, including relevant billing information;  

  • Appointment dates and times as well as information relating to any other contact you have with the practice such as telephone calls and emails;

  • Session notes which include information about you given to the practice with your consent as well as specific information requested in the form of a questionnaire, detailing relevant information to use in the sessions; (such as my biographical information form and career story); and  

  • Account related information such as dates of payments owed and received.

How does the practice collect your personal information?

My practice is committed to the informed, consensual and limited collection of essential and relevant personal information.

 

Information is collected directly from you through the forms you complete, (e.g. biographical information sheet and career story), information shared during sessions and other information intentionally shared by you or someone you nominate. (e.g. parent, mentor, guardian).

 

With your explicit permission and / or as permitted by law, information can also be collected from other sources such as a referring therapist or doctor. 

 

My practice will inform, you, if appropriate, if any information about you is given to the practice in an unsolicited manner.

 

Why and how does the practice use your personal information?

 

To provide you with care: 

  • The processing of personal information is integral to the process of counselling and coaching.  The success of our working together greatly depends on your intentional sharing of confidential personal information such as you age, physical and mental health, sexual orientation, opinions and beliefs, etc.

 

For administrative purposes: 

  • The practical running of the practice, such as billing procedures, requires that some of your personal information is processed.

 

Secondary or indirect use: 

  • Your limited and completely de-identified / anonymous data may be used by the practice to participate in research, practice surveys, audits and to seek supervision from or give supervision to another registered therapist. 

 

Should any other activity, in which the practice is legally obliged to participate, require your personal information, it will only be shared when all appropriate, reasonable, technical and organisational measures have been taken to protect your rights.

The disclosure of your personal information to 3rd parties

Under certain, clearly defined circumstances the practice is legally obligated, or has the legal right, to share your personal information, without your consent.  The practice will endeavour to notify you should this ever be applicable to you.

 

All Personal Information gathered and pertaining to a client is subject to an obligation of confidentiality by virtue of the profession under which my practice falls, as well as South African legislation and the rules of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (the “HPCSA”).

 

All information provided will be treated as strictly confidential, except under the following circumstances:

  • with a client’s (or that client’s guardian in applicable cases) express consent;

  • in providing information required by the client’s medical aid (where applicable) to process claims for career assistance provided by me;

  • where the practice is obliged to divulge information in a court of law or in terms of a statutory provision or because it is in the public interest;

  • where consultation with other mental health professionals is viewed as being necessary; and

  • where the client poses a danger to him- or herself or another person.

  • With regards to COVID-19 – The practice may need to provide the relevant authorities with a list of people attending the practice, should someone at the practice, test positive for Covid-19.  In such a case, a client’s name and contact details may be revealed;

  • Drafting of reports, letters, etc, for third parties will only be done on receipt of the express written request and consent of the client (or guardian, where applicable); and

  • The practice will release reasonable information for the purpose of protecting its own legitimate interests, rights and property.

Storage and Disposal of your Personal Information

The practice will store your information for as long as required to do so by law.  Currently the Health Professions Council of South Africa requires that the records of an adult be stored for 6 years after the last consultation date.

 

In the event of my death or incapacity, your records will securely kept until they may be lawfully destroyed.

 

All disposable documents containing personal information are securely destroyed.

Unauthorised access to your personal information

Despite the security measures that are in place to protect your personal information, you acknowledge that the risk exists that your information may be accessed by an unauthorised 3rd party, e.g., as a result of illegal activity.

 

Should my practice reasonably suspect that your information has been accessed without the required authorisation, the practice will notify you and the appropriate authorities as well as take the necessary steps to reduce further risk.

 

Your rights regarding the processing of your personal information

 

You have the right to:

 

  • Be notified if and for which reasons/s your personal information is being collected

  • Be notified if your personal information has been accessed by an unauthorised person.

  • Request to correct, destroy or delete your personal information

 

The right of access to your personal information

 

Request for access to your notes / emails, assessment results and reports must be made in writing and be signed by you or your representative.  All requests should be submitted with sufficient notice (a minimum of 10 working day).  In some cases, there may be a charge for time spent preparing the information request.

Questions and Complaints

 

Questions: 

 

Should you have any queries regarding:

  • this notice;

  • further information about the privacy practices;

  • withdrawing consent; and

  • accessing or correcting your personal information, please contact me directly. 

 

Depending on the nature of your request, I may ask you to address the practice in writing.

 

Complaints: 

 

Should you believe that the practice has utilized your personal information contrary to the applicable law, I request that you first attempt to resolve any concern with me directly.

 

If you are not satisfied with this process or you feel that I have not given your concerns the appropriate and respectful consideration, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Regulator (www.justic.gov.za/inforeg/). 

Notification of changes to the practice privacy Notice

 

The practice reserves the right to update, modify or amend this policy in order to, but not limited to:

 

  • adapt to changing data protection practices and technology;

  • increase the functionality of my practice;

  • incorporate changes in law and or regulations; and

  • good practice guidelines.

 

If such changes have a potential limiting effect of your rights, I will inform you in writing of such changes.