Privacy Policy

The information you provide will be kept confidential and stored in secure databases. The information will be kept as required by the State Records Act.

Data that cannot be traced back to participants may be shared with approved research groups to add value to this project by extending and validating our analysis.

Your participation in FluTracking is voluntary and you may refuse to answer questions or leave the survey at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in any emails we send or by contacting Hunter New England Population Health on (02) 4924 6499 (Australian participants) or (New Zealand participants).

What information do we collect?

When you look at the pages on this site, our computers automatically record information that identifies, for each page accessed:

  • the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the machine which has accessed it
  • your top-level domain name (for example .com, .org, .au etc.)
  • the address of your server
  • the date and time of your visit to the site
  • the pages accessed and documents downloaded
  • the previous site visited
  • the type of browser and operating system you have used

‘Cookies’ are small pieces of text data that a web server can store on, and later retrieve from, a user’s computer. They do not personally identify you, but do identify your browser. Cookies can be either ‘persistent’ or ‘session’ based. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer, contain an expiration date, and may be used to track your browsing behaviour upon return to the issuing web site. Session cookies are short-lived, are used only during a browsing session, and expire when you shut down your browser.

This site uses persistent cookies. They record your preferences in relation to your use of the site and provide us with other information about your enquiry that allows us to recognise your browser if you return to this website in the future. This allows FluTracking to present information that may be most relevant to you based on your previous visits. They also help FluTracking to understand what parts of the site users find the most useful and improve the effectiveness of the website.

The cookies on this site do not read the information on your hard drive. They do not make your computer perform any actions or make your computer send information to any other computer via the internet. FluTracking makes no attempt to associate cookies with users’ names or identities. Our server cannot find out your name or email address, or anything about your computer, by using cookies.

How do we use the information collected?

The information collected during each visit is aggregated with similar logged information and published in reports in order for Flutracking to identify patterns of usage of the site. This will assist us in improving this site and the services offered on it.

Flutracking will not disclose or publish information that identifies individual machines, or potentially identifies sub-groupings of addresses, without consent or otherwise in accordance with the New South Wales Privacy, Personal Information Protection Act 1998, the Health Records and Information Policy Act 2002 and New Zealand legislation.

What exceptions are there to this rule?

Flutracking will collect, use and disclose more extensive information than stated above in the following circumstances:

  • unauthorised attempts to access files which are not published FluTracking pages
  • unauthorised tampering or interference with files published on the site
  • unauthorised attempts to index the contents of the site by other sites
  • attempts to intercept messages of other users of the site
  • communications which are defamatory, abusive, vilify individuals or groups or which give rise to a suspicion that an offence is being committed
  • attempts to otherwise compromise the security of the web server, breach the laws of the State of New South Wales or Commonwealth of Australia, or interfere with the enjoyment of the site by other users

FluTracking reserves the right to make disclosures to relevant authorities where the use of this site raises a suspicion that an offence is being, or has been, committed. In the event of an investigation, FluTracking will provide access to data to any law enforcement agency that may exercise a warrant to inspect our logs.

Is the information stored securely?

Yes. Information collected is stored in an appropriately secure format and held by FluTracking for archival purposes. When the information is no longer required for the purposes for which it was collected it is deleted.

What will we do with information provided as feedback?

FluTracking provides feedback facilities on this site to allow users to provide input into the future development of the site and to comment on the provision of service by FluTracking.

Users provide personal details for the purpose of receiving a reply to their feedback. This information will only be used for the purpose for which it was provided. We will not add your email address or name to any mailing list.

FluTracking may publish aggregated information about feedback on the site, to the extent that it does not identify or cannot be used to identify individual users.

You may request access to your information at any time.

How can you access or update your personal information?

FluTracking participants may request access to their personal information that has been provided to us by contacting

We aim to ensure that all information we hold is up-to-date and as accurate as possible. If you become aware that any information about you is incomplete or inaccurate, please contact us. Please note, it is not possible to amend some information after submitting a weekly survey (for example, symptom information cannot be amended), however we are able to amend responses to influenza vaccination, COVID-19 vaccination and swab/saliva test result questions.

Will my data be shared with any third parties or overseas?

Data that cannot be traced back to participants may be shared with approved research groups within Australia, and internationally, to add value to this project by extending and validating our analysis. FluTracking Australia is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health, and we share de-identified data with this group, as well as jurisdiction level data with state/territory health departments. FluTracking does not disclose any personal information to any research groups we collaborate with, and our contractual arrangements comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1998.

Will this policy be updated over time?

Due to the developing nature of privacy principles for online communication, this policy may be modified or expanded in light of new developments or issues that may arise from time to time. The amended policy will be posted to this site and will operate from the time it is posted.

Questions, Complaints and Contact Details?

The project is a joint initiative of Newcastle University, Hunter New England Population Health and the Hunter Medical Research Institute. The coordinator of Flutracking is Dr Craig Dalton.

If you have any concerns, comments or questions about this survey now or later, feel free to contact Dr Craig Dalton directly at or on (02) 4924 6345.

If you wish to speak to an independent person, please contact Hunter New England Local Health District complaints – 1800 605 172 (during business hours).

General enquiries can be sent to the FluTracking Team at or via the following:

Hunter New England Population Health
University of Newcastle

Booth Building, Wallsend Health Campus
Wallsend NSW 2287
(02) 4924 6499
(02) 4924 6212

Thank you for your interest and participation.

Australian Government Department of Health
New Zealand Ministry of Health
Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD)
Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)
The University of Newcastle
New Zealand Ministry of Health