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Charity Accused of Abusing Trust

PERSONAL PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

January 12, 2010

The Australia Privacy Foundation has accused the St. Vincent de Paul Society of betraying donor trust by allowing a data broker to help develop a survey mailed to donors over the Christmas season, and then sharing the information with the company, The Age reports. The charity defended its actions--which may have violated aspects of the Privacy Act--by saying that it opened its donor list in order to build a mailing list which was then used to distribute the four-page questionnaire to 20,000 people. The survey was conducted under the data broker's privacy policy, not the charity's. For its part, the broker says it complied with privacy legislation.
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