Privacy Policy

The Big Issue treats the handling of your personal information very seriously. To that end, The Big Issue has systems and procedures in place to protect your privacy in relation to the handling of your personal information. The Big Issue is bound by various laws which protect your privacy including the National Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act (1988), which provide guidelines in relation to the collection, disclosure, use and storage of personal information.

Despite this Privacy Policy, The Big Issue sometimes handles personal information relying on exemptions under these laws, for example in relation to employee records and services to provided to or for government authorities. The Big Issue’s objective is to handle information responsibly and provide you with information to make informed decisions about the personal information you provide to The Big Issue.

This Privacy Policy describes the type of information we may collect and what may happen to that information. This Privacy Policy applies to personal information we handle about our readers, subscribers, supporters, customers and other members of the public.

Our vendors, personnel and job applicants should contact our Administration department or for information about their privacy.

Personal information collected by The Big Issue generally relates to (but is not limited to) business name, contact name, address, contact details, gender and credit card details. We primarily collect this information so you can subscribe to The Big Issue magazine, access a digital edition of The Big Issue magazine, advertise in The Big Issue magazine, donate to The Big Issue, request a product or service from our online shop, complete a survey or questionnaire, enter a competition or an event, or communicate with The Big Issue.

We may also collect, use and disclose individuals’ personal information to carry out administrative tasks including research, internal reviews, analysis and production of consolidated statistics and to send promotional material about The Big Issue’s activities and offers (subject to legal restrictions and your opt-out requests).

The Big Issue may not be able to do the things described above without your personal information. For example, we may not be able to contact you, deliver your subscription or issue receipts where certain personal information is not provided. In the instance of a gift subscription, The Big Issue may be provided with your personal information by a third party who is purchasing a subscription on your behalf. We will not disclose personal information to unrelated parties for them to market goods and services to you. We will not otherwise use or disclose your personal information unless the use or disclosure is authorised under the National Privacy Principles.

The National Privacy Principles require The Big Issue to not store personal information longer than necessary. Where The Big Issue no longer requires any personal information that it holds, that personal information will be destroyed or The Big Issue will remove from it any details that will identify individuals.

The Big Issue may disclose your personal information to third party organisations who provide a specific service to The Big Issue such as mailing of subscriptions, deliveries and other communications, processing credit card information, data analysis, telemarketing, accounting, legal and financial advice, archiving, IT support and consulting, auditing, research and advertising. As many of our tasks are performed with the assistance of contractors and volunteers, The Big Issue may also disclose your personal information to them.

In some circumstances, The Big Issue may disclose your personal information to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations who provide funding for some of our activities.

If someone visits (the “Website”) to read, browse or download information, our system may record information about your browsing session such as the date and time of their visit to the Website, the pages accessed and any information downloaded (“clickstream data”). This information is used for statistical, reporting and website administration and maintenance purposes only.

Like many websites, the Website may use “cookies” from time to time. Cookies are small text files that our Website transfers to your computer through your web browser to enable our systems to recognise your computer. You can generally erase or disallow cookies through your browser. Please note that some parts of the Website may not function fully for users that disallow cookies. The Big Issue does not try to identify users or their browsing activities from cookies or clickstream data information except as required by law.

The Website may use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses cookies to help analyse use of the Website. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the Website (including the IP address of users’ computers) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating individuals’ use of the Website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate IP addresses with any other data held by Google.

By using the Website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above. The Website may contains links to other sites. The Big Issue is not responsible for the privacy practices or policies of those sites.

While The Big Issue takes great care to protect personal information on the Website, unfortunately no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Accordingly, The Big Issue cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information sent to or from The Big Issue online. This is particularly true for information sent to The Big Issue via email. Once The Big Issue receives personal information, we protect its security in accordance with our legal obligations and this Privacy Policy. If you do not wish to submit personal information to us online, please write or call.

The Big Issue takes additional precautions to protect credit card and charge card transactions. Sensitive card details provided through our Website’s payment facilities are encrypted using industry standard encryption technology. In many cases privacy laws give you the right to obtain access to your personal information held by The Big Issue.

Access may be requested in writing to The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 or by email to Please provide as much detail as possible about the particular information you seek, in order to help us retrieve it. We may need to verify your identity before access can be provided. The Big Issue may make amendments to this Privacy Policy from time to time to ensure we reflect changes to relevant laws or operations of The Big Issue.

Your personal information will always be governed by The Big Issue’s most recent Privacy Policy.

Last updated: 6th June 2013