Privacy Statement

AHN Privacy Policy

Note: This policy is subject to change at any time. Please check all AHN Policies on a regular basis for updates

This privacy policy describes how Australian Homestay Network Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries and affiliated entities (“AHN”) manage the personal information (“PI”) you provide. 

AHN provides administrative and support services to hosts, guests, agents, educators and other persons involved in the international student homestay industry (“Services”) through various channels, including via our website at http://www.homestaynetwork.org/ (“Website”) and the Homestay Management System accessible through the Website. 

We have created this privacy policy in order to demonstrate our commitment to the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles (together, the “Australian Privacy Law”). 

How we collect your PI

We collect your PI as part of offering or providing our Services, and answering your questions.  This includes PI you provide through our Website (eg via our online contact us form, or when you register an account with us) and during telephone calls.  Generally, we collect your PI directly from you but may also collect your PI from other people or organisations if you have given consent for them to do so. 

What PI do we collect?

The type of PI we collect depends on your relationship with us, as follows:

Public: if you submit a query via our online ‘contact us’ form, or otherwise email or call AHN, we may collect your name, email address, phone number, address and location.

Registration:  when you register with us as a host, guest, educator or agent, we will collect your name, your chosen username and password, email address, mailing address and profile picture (should you choose to provide one).  If you register as a host, we will also ask you to provide information about your background to help us assess your suitability to be a host, and also banking details for payments.  If you register as a guest, we will also ask you to provide your bank or credit card details for payments, passport and nationality details, student registration details, and other information about you that will help us to find the right placement for you.

Why do we need your PI?

We need your PI to provide you with our Services which include: 

(a) assessing your eligibility and monitoring your compliance with host or guest (as relevant) contractual obligations;

(b) providing you and other persons involved in your homestay arrangement with the Services;

(c) administering your account, including facilitating matters in relation to payment, insurance, and complaints;  

(d) informing you (including by direct marketing) about our Services and the goods and/or services of third parties available in connection with our Services;

(e) creating and updating our database(s);

(f) ensuring compliance with our contractual and other legal obligations to you;

(g) monitoring your use of the Website and contacting you about changes to the Website or for customer service purposes; 

(h) administering our relationship with you by responding to your enquiries; and

(i) any other act we are required or authorised to do by law,

(Main Purposes).  

If you do not provide us with your PI we may not be able to carry out some or all of the Main Purposes.

How do we use your PI?

By submitting your PI to us, you consent to us using your PI for the Main Purposes or any purpose that could be reasonably expected at the time your PI was collected.  We may also disclose your PI to agencies, service providers and other businesses (including those owned by us) to help us do these things.

We may also use your PI:

(a) for any purpose disclosed to you in an information collection statement at the point where we collect your PI; or

(b) for a purpose related or ancillary to one of the Main Purposes.

We may use certain non-personally identifiable information (such as anonymous usage data, IP addresses, browser type etc) to improve the quality and design of our Website, and to create new features, promotions, functionality and services by storing, tracking, analysing and processing user preferences and trends as well as user activity and communications.

Can you remain anonymous or use a pseudonym?

We will, if practicable, allow you to use a pseudonym or to not identify yourself unless this is impractical or against the law (including the Australian Privacy Law).  

In some instances, if you do not provide us with certain PI we may not be able to provide you with the relevant product, Service or information (including arranging a homestay placement for you).  This may have an effect on whether we can begin or continue a relationship with you or allow you to use our Services.

What disclosures will we make?

In general we will only disclose your PI for the Main Purposes.  We may also disclose your PI in other ways with your consent or as required or permitted by law (including the Australian Privacy Law).  

We may disclose your PI to our service providers and partners in order to assist us in providing the Services to you. We use a network of global third party service providers in order to ensure that the Services we provide to you are of the best possible standard. Some of our service providers, or the services they provide (like cloud-based storage solutions), are based outside of Australia. This could include places like Europe, Asia and the US. In order to protect your information, we take care where possible to work with service providers who we consider maintain acceptable standards of data security compliance, and we do our part to meet those standards as they apply to AHN.

Is your PI confidential and secure?

We take all reasonable steps to keep the PI we hold secure and to ensure it is protected against misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or inappropriate disclosure.  We may hold PI in both hard copy and electronic forms in secure systems accessible only to authorised personnel.

Do we use “cookies”?

When you visit our Website, the server may attach a "cookie" to your computer's memory.  A “cookie” assists us to store information about how visitors to our Website use it and to make assumptions about what information may be of most interest to you. This information is generally not linked to your identity.  We may use knowledge of your user experience to better understand what products or services may be of interest to you and to collect statistical information.  We may also use cookies to store a user’s name or username and password on their computer for future visits to our Website.

Links to other websites

Our Website may contain links to other websites. Unless the other website is one of our websites, we are not responsible for the privacy practices of the owners of those websites.  We recommend that you read the privacy policy of any website that asks you to provide your PI.

Contacting us about privacy

You are responsible for ensuring that your PI is accurate, current and complete.  If you have a registered account with us, you can update or change your PI and email preferences at any time via your account’s profile page.  

You may ask us to provide a summary of the PI we hold about you, subject to certain limitations under the Australian Privacy Law.  For your protection, we may require you to confirm your identity before access to your PI is granted.  In most cases, we can provide you with a summary of your PI free of charge.  However, in some circumstances, reasonable costs may be charged to you in accessing your PI, subject always to the Australian Privacy Law.  

If you have a question or want to make a complaint about how we handle your PI, please contact us using the details below.  We will review your complaint, and will respond to you after we have carefully considered it.  We may require further information from you in order to resolve any complaints.  

We can be contacted via:

Email: info@homestaynetwork.org

Post: PO Box 849, Toowong BC, QLD, 4066.

You may also obtain further information about Australian Privacy Law at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at www.oaic.gov.au.

Changes to this policy

We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time, and may notify you if there are significant changes.  Therefore it’s important that you check this Privacy Policy from time to time to see if any changes have been made.

Last updated: July 2016