Privacy policy

Privacy policy

BreastScreen Victoria is committed to protecting the privacy of your information. We are required by law to protect personal information and comply with the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and other relevant legislation relating to confidentiality and privacy. BreastScreen Victoria protects privacy by keeping personal information secure from unauthorised access, use or loss.

How do we protect your information privacy?

BreastScreen Victoria staff are legally required to protect personal information and comply with all relevant privacy legislation including the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) according to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

Your paper record and electronic information are stored securely at the reading and assessment service connected to the screening centre that you attend. Your electronic information is also securely stored at our central database in Melbourne.

Only authorised people have access to your information. Legally, your information must be kept for a minimum of seven (7) years.

What information do we collect?

We collect information you provide when you attend BreastScreen such as your name, address, family history, symptoms of breast cancer or special needs you may have. With your consent, we collect information about any subsequent care and treatment you receive outside the Program that relates to your breast screen. New information is added to your record every time you attend or contact BreastScreen Victoria.

When you attend BreastScreen Victoria, we ask you to complete and sign the Registration and Consent form. This asks you to consent to BreastScreen Victoria obtaining your previous breast images and related files for comparison purposes, and also agree that these and your current images and files may be shared with other health service providers for the purpose of your care.

If your previous breast screen was not at a BreastScreen Victoria service, we may request your previous images and information for comparison purposes with your consent. This will be done this at the time of your registration, or you should bring the information with you to your appointment if you have access to it.

How do we use your information and who do we disclose it to?

We will only use or release information that identifies you with your consent, or where we are required or permitted to do so under law.

The ways in which we may use and disclose your information are set out below.

Health services

We use the information you provide and your screening results, to provide you with the necessary care during your screening episode. We also use your information to send you an invitation for your next breast screen.

With your consent, we will share and release your previous and current images and related files for the purposes of your care in the following situations:

  • BreastScreen Victoria contracts Health Service Providers to undertake screening, reading and assessment services. Your information will be shared with them for the purposes of your care. You will attend their premises for your appointment.
  • After your breast screen, we will send a letter containing your results to your doctor if you nominate one.
  • If you are referred to other health services outside BreastScreen Victoria after your breast screen, we will disclose relevant information to them.
  • If you move between our services your information will be transferred to your chosen BreastScreen Victoria service.
  • If you move interstate, your information will be transferred to the appropriate BreastScreen service.
  • If you require or choose to receive treatment with another health service provider outside of BreastScreen Victoria for purposes related to breast screening, we will release your images and related files to them, unless you ask us not to.
  • If we have referred you to other health services or, if you have had further breast tests outside the BreastScreen program, we may contact the service to share your information with them, and obtain information about the care and treatment you received.

Your consent to the above arrangements will be obtained at registration.

We are required by Victorian law to report cases of cancer to the Victorian Cancer Registry.

Subpoenaed information may also be provided to a court or tribunal.


Research projects are undertaken to evaluate and improve screening services and to investigate breast disease.

We may contact you and invite you to take part in a research study that uses identifying information. Taking part in this sort of research is always your choice. If you don’t want to participate, this will not affect your ongoing participation in the Program.

Information that does not identify you may be used in research projects. All projects are reviewed and approved by BreastScreen Victoria’s research committee.

Market research

Your satisfaction with the service we provide is important to us. BreastScreen Victoria regularly conducts research to measure women’s satisfaction with our Program. We may employ an approved company to undertake this research. This information helps us to provide better services. We may also contact you from time to time with information about BreastScreen or to promote the Program.

Taking part in research or marketing activities is your choice. If you do not wish to be contacted for market research please contact BreastScreen Victoria to opt out. If you don’t want to participate it will not affect your ongoing participation in the Program.

Other uses

We also use your information to plan, evaluate and improve the quality of our service. If your information is used for these activities, we remove details that identify you. Information that does not identify you may also be disclosed to the government for the monitoring and evaluation of our Program.

Why do we need you to share your information?

The information you share helps us to plan and provide you with the best possible breast screening service. You can decide not to share your information; however, this can affect our ability to identify you and link you to your past breast screens. Without your previous images or history for comparison, we will not be able to provide you with the best possible service, and you may be recalled unnecessarily for further tests.

How can you access your information?

The Victorian Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) set out rights to access to your information held by BreastScreen Victoria.

If you identify information that is incorrect you can ask that the information be corrected.

If you would like more information on how to request access to your records or to make a complaint about your privacy, please contact BreastScreen Victoria on (03) 9660 6888.