Privacy Statement

Privacy Policy, Terms, and Conditions: Marine Fauna Sightings

PRIVACY POLICY: MARINE FAUNA SIGHTINGS

Introduction and Background
Your submission of personal information through the Marine Fauna Sightings app is governed by River Guardians' Privacy Policy.  Privacy is important to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) River Guardians program and we take care to process personal data in accordance with applicable data protection laws and our contractual obligations. Please take the time to read this Privacy Policy and the Terms and Conditions to understand how the Marine Fauna Sightings app secures personal data, why and how River Guardians processes, shares and secures personal data, and to learn more about your rights and preferences.
In this Policy, “River Guardians,” “we,” “us” and “our” each means DBCA's River Guardians program.


Personal Information
When you first download Marine Fauna Sightings, you will be asked to provide your personal details in the “My Details” section.  The only information you are required to provide is your First Name, Last Name, and email address.  We do not give, rent, or sell personal information.  We will only use your contact information to ask you any follow up questions regarding your sighting reports to aid in our research efforts, and will not contact you for any promotional reasons. 

Your personal information will also be stored in a secure, password-protected database that is only accessible by a small number of authorized River Guardians Dolphin Watch researchers.  Each sighting report that you submit will be linked to your personal profile within the database.  This allows researchers to track how many sighting reports you have submitted over time and identify our “top observers” each year. You may view your own sighting reports at any time by clicking on the 'Reports' buttone on the home screen of the Marine Fauna Sightings app.

Your sighting reports may be shared with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD - Fisheries) and/or external researchers for marine situational awareness and conservation-based research purposes (upon approval of a data request).  All reports are anonymized to ensure user privacy. Your personal data will never be shared with any third parties without your express, written consent, and will not be visible to other Marine Fauna Sightings users, or on any other platforms.
If you have any questions or concerns about how your personal information is used, please email us at community@dbca.wa.gov.au.

Location Data
When you have Marine Fauna Sightings open and are actively undertaking a survey, or making a report, Marine Fauna Sightings will poll your location.  This enables you to easily determine your location relative to the animal(s) you are reporting.  We are not interested in your personal location information, merely the location of the animals you are viewing, and the area you are monitoring.  If you are in the same location of the animals at the time of the report, your location data at the time of reporting the sighting is saved as the “Location of Animal(s)” and stored on a secure server as well as in a secure, password-protected  database that is only accessible by a small number of authorized River Guardians Dolphin Watch researchers. This information is used by River Guardians Dolphin Watch researchers to monitor the occurrence, distribution, and habitat use of dolphins, whales, seals and turtles.  This information may be shared with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD - Fisheries) and/or external researchers for marine situational awareness and conservation-based research purposes (upon approval of a data request).  All reports are anonymized to ensure user privacy. Your personal data will never be shared with any third parties without your express, written consent, and will not be visible to other Marine Fauna Sightings users or on any other platforms.

If you do not wish to share your location data but still wish to submit sighting reports, you may enter the coordinates of your sighting manually.  

What you need to know about Consent
By providing personal information to us, you allow “deemed” consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your information in accordance with this policy. When you provide contact information to us, we may contact you occasionally to ask you follow up questions about your sighting report(s).

Updating your Consent
We respect your right to control your personal information — please contact us immediately if you want us to stop using it in any particular way. We will fulfill your request in the timeliest way possible.  To unsubscribe from emails, please email community@dbca.wa.gov.au and type “MFS unsubscribe” in the subject line.  Upon reasonable request and notice, you may view and have corrections made to the personal information we hold about you, subject to any legal or contractual restrictions. If you are aware of any inaccuracies in the personal information, we hold about you or to remove all of your information from our databases, please contact community@dbca.wa.gov.au.

How we Keep your Information Secure
We endeavour to maintain appropriate physical, procedural and technical safeguards for your personal information. Some information we collect may be stored and processed on servers located outside your jurisdiction of residence, including outside your country. As a result, this information may be subject to disclosure to governments, courts or law enforcement agencies in those areas, according to their laws, without notice to us or you.

Information we Share
We do not give, rent, or sell personal information.
We may use the personal information provided to send occasional updates about the Marine Fauna Sightings app or its associated systems via push notifications.  In some cases, we will use a third-party to send out information.  The third-party services that we use have resources dedicated to maintaining security and confidentiality, and we ensure that any third-party partner has written policies about never sharing your information with anyone other than DBCA River Guardians program.  In order to communicate with you, we may work with external organizations to help us with our communications or to contact you on our behalf. We only work with organizations that have comprehensive security and confidentiality policies, including written policies to safeguard your information properly and only use it for the purpose specified by us; they are not permitted to use or share your information with anyone other than River Guardians.

Policy Updates and Changes
We may change this policy from time to time without notice. Changes will be reflected on this page.

Need more information?
For further information, please contact community@dbca.wa.gov.au

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

By downloading Marine Fauna Sightings, you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions.  Please read these conditions of use carefully before using Marine Fauna Sightings.

Accuracy, completeness, and Timeliness of Information DBCA River Guardians program will not be held responsible if any information in Marine Fauna Sightings is not accurate, complete, or current.  Boaters should take personal responsibility to ensure that they are aware of the most recent Be Whale Wise Guidelines and Marine Mammal Regulations in their area, and should not use Marine Fauna Sightings as the sole basis for making decisions while out on the water. The user is responsible for following Marine Mammal Regulations at all times on the water.  Any reliance on Marine Fauna Sightings is at the risk of the user. 

Approaching animals in any way that violates the Marine Mammal Regulations in order to make a sighting report is not permitted.

Intentions of Use
Information about the distribution and abundance of species is the key to both understanding the status of the species and whether the status of the population is improving, steady or declining.  However, the vast and remote nature of Australia's coastline can make regular monitoring of cetacean populations via traditional scientific surveys particularly challenging.  For over 10 years, River Guardians has administered the Dolphin Watch project to build a diverse and dedicated network of over 1,500 trained Dolphin Watch volunteers who regularly report their dolphin sightings and non-sightings.  Our mission is to monitor the abundance and distribution of dolphins in Western Australia and reduce the risk of disturbance and vessel strike.

We maintain a well-curated database containing over 30,000 dolphin reports, submitted by a robust network of citizen scientists.  This database is the primary source of information on the occurrence of dolphins in the Swan Canning Riverpark, Peel-Harvey Estuary and Roebuck Bay and spatial and temporal trends in their abundance.

We consider data requests for: i) academic research on ecology, basic biology, habitat use or related subjects; ii) conservation assessment and planning; iii) species recovery planning including critical habitat determination; and iv) environmental impact assessment, evaluation and mitigation.

If River Guardians has good reason to believe that the information provided is fraudulent or purposefully inaccurate, your account will be ‘blacklisted’ in our database and your sighting reports will not be used by DBCA's River Guardians Dolphin Watch project or for conservation-based research purposes.