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HomeGeophysicalAlerts and WarningsAurora Sighting ReportPrivacy Collection Notice Monday, Sep 27 2021 06:17 UT
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Bureau of Meteorology Space Weather Services Privacy Collection Notice

This collection notice describes how the Space Weather Services within the Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) collects and manages personal information. This notice is provided pursuant to Australian Privacy Principle 5.

For further information about how the Bureau collects and manages personal information more generally, see our online privacy notice available at:

How and when do we collect your personal information?

We may collect your personal information, where it is reasonably necessary for or directly related to the performance of our functions or activities.

In particular, the Space Weather Service collects auroral reports from the general public when:

  • A report of an auroral sighting is submitted by a member of the public via the Space Weather Service online Auroral Sighting form.

We collect this personal information from you at the time you submit a report of an Auroral sighting, by filling in the online form and clicking the "Submit Form" button. Note that your name and email address are not required and are optional fields. If you decide to provide your name this information will be viewable worldwide on the SWS website Auroral Archive. ( Your email address will not be shown in your submitted auroral report.

Space Weather Services does not encourage you to share your personal details when reporting an auroral sighting.

We only collect sensitive information from you, being your name and email address when you provide it to report an auroral sighting. We will only do so if you expressly or impliedly consent, or another exception under the Privacy Act applies.

The Space Weather Services Auroral reporting form and archive allows auroral observers to share their auroral sightings with other aurora watchers.

Why do we collect your personal information?

We use your personal information (ie your name) to display together with the auroral report sighting if you wish this information to be shown, indicated to us by completing the optional field in the Auroral sighting report forms labelled "Name" and "Email".

The primary purpose that the Bureau Space Weather Services uses the optionally provided personal information (your name and email address) is to possibly contact you regarding your observation.

Do we use your personal information for marketing purposes?

We will not use your personal information for marketing purposes.

What happens if we do not collect your personal information?

Nothing, in fact we encourage people not to provide personal information.

Who do we disclose your personal information to?

Space Weather Services does not usually disclose your personal information outside the Bureau, unless an exception under the Privacy Act applies.

Will we send your personal information overseas?

We may be required to disclose your personal information to an overseas entity by or under an Australian law or court order or if another exception exists under the Privacy Act.

How do you find out more about our privacy practices?

Our agency's Privacy Policy describes how we protect and manage personal information, including sensitive information, consistent with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). More particularly, it explains:

  • how and why we may collect your personal information
  • how it is used
  • when and how we might share it with others
  • how you can access and seek to correct your personal information
  • how to make a complaint about our privacy practices and how your complaint will be handled.

Our Privacy Policy is available at:

To find out more about how we manage personal information you can contact:

FOI & Privacy Coordinator
Bureau of Meteorology
People Management Branch
GPO Box 1289
Melbourne Vic 3001

Tel: 03 9616 8428

From time to time, we will review and revise this privacy collection notice. We reserve the right to amend this notice at any time.

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