Stewart seeks to provide the best possible service to its customers. We understand how important it is to protect your personal information and to give you confidence that any personal information that you provide to us or that we collect from you will be safeguarded.
Accordingly, we are firmly committed to ensuring that we are open and transparent about the manner in which we collect, hold, manage and use any personal information that you may provide to us or we may lawfully receive in order for us to assess your request for insurance and to provide you with our services. We abide by the Australian Privacy Principles for the protection of personal information. These are set out in the Privacy Act 1998.
Stewart is a branch of Stewart Title Limited United Kingdom. Stewart is an insurance company that provides title insurance services throughout Australia.
For more information about Stewart please visit the following pages:
We collect personal information that you provide directly to us, or that we may lawfully collect, at the time you request that we provide you with our services, or when you make a claim under a policy that we have issued to you.
"Personal information" means information or opinions about an individual whose identity can be apparent or can be reasonably ascertained from the information.
"Sensitive information" means personal information or an opinion about your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record. It also includes your health information or genetic information. Please note: we do not collect “sensitive information” for the purposes of assessing your request for insurance and providing you with our services.
What Personal Information
do we Collect?
Contact & Identifying Information: your name,
address, e-mail address and/or other contact information,
property details, purchase price of property, street
address and title particulars and insurance policy details.
We may also require proof of identity such as:
Information About Your Property: including, but not limited to:
Stewart only collects your personal information with your consent. Whether the consent is express or implied may vary depending upon the sensitivity of the information and the reasonable expectations of the individual.
In all cases, Stewart only collects personal information by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Where Stewart collects personal information about you from a third party, we take reasonable steps to ensure that you are aware of the identity of the third party, their contact details, the purposes for which the information is collected and your ability to access the information.
We may collect your personal information:
We may also collect information from other sources, such as publicly available information from social media services and publically and commercially available sources such as online real estate listings and mapping or satellite imagery services such as google Earth and similar services.
We are committed to handling your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act. We will only use and disclose your personal information in circumstances where it is necessary in order for us to provide you with our services or otherwise only as permitted or required by law. Sometimes we are required or authorised by law to disclose your personal information. For example in response to a subpoena we may be required to disclose your personal information to a Court or Tribunal.
Access to personal information is restricted to Stewart employees and third party providers who require access for business purposes, such as:
Personal information is kept in a combination of paper and electronic format. Paper records, including general business records, are stored in our Australian head office. We transfer personal information (which may include electronic formats such as emails) for administrative, data back-up, processing (including claims administration) and reinsurance purposes to our head office, Stewart Title Limited United Kingdom, our affiliate, Stewart Title Guaranty Company Canadian Division, and/or our international head office, Stewart Title Guaranty, USA (“Other Jurisdiction Offices”).
Personal information transferred outside of Australia may be accessible to regulatory authorities and enforcement agencies in accordance with the laws of the respective countries in the Other Jurisdiction Offices. By availing yourself of our products and services, you consent to the transfer of your personal information to the Other Jurisdiction Offices.
From time to time, certain information about your property, such as information about a known title defect or other adverse circumstances/issues affecting your property (“Known Risks”), may be disclosed to Stewart in the course of Stewart providing you with our services. Disclosure of Known Risks may result in Stewart issuing an exclusion, exception or condition on the cover it would normally provide to you. Such exclusions, exceptions and conditions are normally detailed in the Schedule B which forms part of your title insurance policy.
In the future, a prospective purchaser of your property may request similar services from Stewart. In those circumstances, Stewart may use the information relating to the Known Risks for the purposes of assessing any request for our services by a purchaser of your property. Stewart may for this purpose:
By availing yourself of our services you consent to our use and disclosure of the Known Risks, as outlined above, to any subsequent purchaser(s) or other third party(s) and their legal or conveyancing representatives who ask us to insure the property at any time in the future.
In most cases, you will be required to provide some or all of the personal information identified in this policy in order for us to provide you with our services.
When you use Stewart’s websites, if you do nothing during your visit but browse through the information contained on the web pages, we still may gather certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We may automatically gather the Internet domain, the source by which you came to our site (e.g. Google search or Bing search), IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the web) from which you access our websites, and the date and time you access our website, and the pages you visit.
Stewart does not use ‘cookies’ for the purpose of collecting information about you, your internet use or other sites visited. We use ‘cookies’ (a) for the purpose of security and authentication and (b) to improve your user experience of our websites. Cookies may help us recall a previous visit. The cookies we use do not collect personally identifiable information, and we do not use them to determine your identity. If you are not comfortable with this use, you may configure your browser to be notified when cookies are to be received and to provide you with the option of refusing cookies. However, refusing cookies may limit your ability to use our websites in their entirety.
Stewart is strongly committed to personal information security and we take reasonable and appropriate steps to protect personal information from unauthorised access, unlawful loss or disclosure, misuse, alteration or corruption.
Personal information is protected with safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. We store your personal information in a secure and confidential environment.
Stewart employees are made aware of the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of personal information, and exercise care in the disposal or destruction of personal information to prevent unauthorised parties from gaining access to it. Stewart employees also receive appropriate privacy awareness training on induction and regularly thereafter (at least annually).
Stewart has put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure personal information. The following, non-exhaustive list of measures include:
Any unauthorised disclosure of personal information to a third party by an employee may result in disciplinary proceedings.
Personal information collected via any of Stewart’s proprietary policy ordering application systems is hosted at secure locations by Stewart Title Guaranty Company Canadian Division. However, personal information collected via means other than STEPS, such as the internet and e-mail, are not secure environments. If you send us personal information by these means you do so at your own risk.
When personal information is no longer required to fulfil the purpose for which it was collected, where possible, it will be destroyed, erased, or made anonymous, provided there are no legal requirements for its continued retention. Our systematic practices for information and records retention and destruction apply to personal information.
It is important to us that the personal information we hold about you is accurate. You may request access to your personal information or request that your personal information be updated or corrected at any time, provided any request for access, updating, or correction be made in writing, together with the appropriate proof of identification, such as a certified copy of your passport or drivers licence or similar identity card. Stewart will provide you with access to your personal information upon request, subject to any exemptions provided under the Privacy Act.
Please make your written request to:
The Privacy Officer
Stewart Title Limited
GPO Box 527
Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: 02 9081 6200
Fax: 02 9081 6299
Stewart reserves the right to refuse any request for access to personal information which is not made in writing and is not supported by appropriate proof of identification.
Stewart will consider your request for access, update, or correction and will endeavour to respond in writing within 10 business days. If Stewart is required to decline your request for access, update, or correction of your personal information, we will provide you with written reasons for our decision.
If Stewart is unable to resolve your concerns or if you remain dissatisfied with the response you receive from us, you may contact our Complaints Officer who will attempt to resolve your complaint in accordance with our Complaints Procedure:
If you remain unhappy with the resolution of your complaint or with the way that Stewart has handled your personal information, you may be able to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service subject to its Terms of Reference or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
The contact details for these bodies are as follows:
The Privacy Act 1988 establishes requirements for responding to data breaches, including notification obligations when a data breach is likely to result in serious harm to any individuals whose personal information is involved in the breach (the “NDB scheme”). Stewart complies with the NDB scheme.
Stewart has implemented a notifiable data breach response plan, a copy of which can be accessed here.
If Stewart becomes aware of or has reasonable grounds to believe an eligible data breach has occurred, Stewart will promptly notify individuals at likely risk of serious harm. Stewart will also notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the Commissioner) as soon as practicable through a statement about the eligible data breach.
The notification to affected individuals and the Commissioner will include the following information:
** This policy may change without notice due to changes in the law and/or Stewart Title’s information management practices. We recommend that you review the policy from time to time. Continued use of Stewart Title’s services implies agreement to any amendments to the policy.