1. Our commitment to you

Vanguard Australia is committed to maintaining the privacy of the personal and financial data we hold.  We recognise that your relationship with us is based on trust, and that you expect us to act responsibly towards you.  

This Joint Privacy Policy (“Policy”) sets out further detail about Vanguard Australia’s approach to handling personal information.

This Policy covers the obligations of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd and Vanguard Super Pty Ltd (together, Vanguard Australia) under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). 

2. Introduction

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd and Vanguard Super Pty Ltd ("Vanguard Australia," "we," or "us") value the privacy and security of information about Vanguard Australia's clients, members and potential investors. Vanguard Australia may collect and retain certain information in order to provide a variety of financial products and services to our customers, including investment management, superannuation and financial advice. In this Policy, we describe how Vanguard Australia collects, uses, and discloses information.

By visiting or using the websites operated by Vanguard Australia that link to this Policy (the "Sites") or otherwise providing information to Vanguard Australia, you consent to the collection, processing, use, and disclosure of information about you as set out in this Policy, including transfers to third parties and other countries. Your use of our services and the Sites, and any dispute over privacy, is subject to this Policy and our Terms and Conditions of Use, including applicable limitations on damages and the resolution of disputes.

Depending on which parts of the Sites you access, the information that we collect is controlled by:

  • Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd; and/or
  • Vanguard Super Pty Ltd,

which are both headquartered at Level 13, 130 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.

This information also may be collected by or transferred to, and therefore controlled by, The Vanguard Group, Inc., which is headquartered in the United States at 100 Vanguard Boulevard, Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355-2331. As discussed below in the section titled "Cross-Border Transfer of Information," information that we collect may be transferred to and processed in Australia and the United States, or another jurisdiction outside Australia which may have less stringent data protection laws than in Australia. To the extent permitted by law, we will not be responsible for the conduct of any parties to whom we disclose your personal information outside Australia, and you may not be able to seek redress. 

3. Information Collection

Vanguard Australia may collect, process, use, and disclose Personal Information, Sensitive Information and Other Information when we provide a service to you (including opening an account, engaging in a transaction, speaking with us on the telephone, providing us with your business card or registering to attend an event) or in connection with your use of the Sites.

For the purposes of this Policy,

  • "Personal Information" is any information that alone or together with other information in Vanguard Australia's possession relates to an identified or identifiable person, such as name, phone number, e-mail address, financial account information, and online account information such as username and password.
  • “Sensitive Information” is any information which we ask for your consent to provide, such as health information when you apply for insurance cover through superannuation.
  • "Other Information" is any additional information that is not Personal Information or Sensitive Information.

In this section, we describe our information-collection practices, including the types of Personal, Sensitive and Other Information that we collect. In subsequent sections of this Policy, we describe how we use and disclose Personal, Sensitive and Other Information.

We may combine the Personal, Sensitive and Other Information with information collected from or about you from third parties or in other contexts. This may include information collected online, such as through our e-mail exchanges with you; from publicly available sources, such as your company website if you are a financial adviser; from the registrar for our exchange-traded funds so that we can provide information about products or services that may be of benefit; or from offline sources, such as information that we collect when you establish your account with us, or from our insurer or administrator (if applicable), or our call customer service. We will treat such combined information in accordance with this Policy. If you do not wish to provide information to Vanguard Australia, we may be unable to provide certain services to you.  We usually collect Personal Information and Sensitive Information directly from you, with your consent, however it may be collected from third parties such as your employer in the case of your superannuation account.

Where it has been determined that we have received unsolicited Personal or Sensitive Information, as soon as reasonably practicable, we will destroy or de-identify that information if it is lawful and reasonable to do so.

Some personal information is collected, used, and disclosed pursuant to applicable laws including laws relating to identification verification, tax reporting and withholding, and money laundering (e.g. in Australia, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, Taxation Administration Act, Corporations Act, Income Tax Assessment Act, Privacy Act and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

3.1 Personal Information we collect 

Vanguard Australia may collect the following Personal Information from or about you:

Personal Information we collect directly from you, such as when you register to use the Sites or request information from us: Vanguard Australia may collect and maintain Personal Information about you, and about any person or entity on whose behalf you are acting, that you provide to us on the Sites, such as when you register to use the Sites, obtain a product or service from Vanguard Australia, request information or materials from us, or otherwise interact with us. The types of Personal Information we collect vary based on your particular interaction with us, but could include:

  • Your name, company name, and primary role or title;
  • Postal mailing address;
  • Telephone numbers;
  • E-mail address;
  • Account number and other account information;
  • User name, password, PIN, and answers to security questions; and
  • Other information you provide to us directly online, such as information collected for identification or authentication purposes.

Personal Information for your account: Depending on the type of account, and to the extent permitted by law, we may collect the following Personal Information from you or about you when you open an investment account or superannuation account, establish a business relationship with Vanguard Australia on behalf of yourself or another individual or entity, or manage your account on the Sites:

  • Full name, date of birth, gender, and contact details, including mailing and residential addresses, e-mail address, and telephone numbers;
  • Australian or Foreign Government related identifiers and identity documents for the purpose of verifying identity and to comply with regulatory requirements regarding identification verification, tax status, tax reporting, and withholding.
  • Tax file number and bank account and payment method details, if such information is needed for the purpose of administering your accounts;
  • Employment details, which may include annual salary and occupation details;
  • Contribution amounts and investment choices;
  • Details about authorised signatories, agents, or representatives (including deceased estates);
  • Copies of any relevant trust deeds, partnership agreements, constitutions, or articles of association;
  • Details of services you are interested in and about your investment and retirement needs;
  • Information about employees, agents, or other representatives of a client or prospective client, if such information is needed to open or maintain an account;
  • Detailed contact information about a financial adviser; and
  • Other information that you provide to us in connection with your account, which may include Sensitive Information. This will generally be limited to information about health in connection with an insurance application or claim related to any insurance held within your superannuation account

We also may collect Personal Information for your account from third parties authorised to disclose your Personal Information, such as from your employer or from companies that provide identification verification services.

Information about Third Parties: We may collect information from you regarding other individuals related to your account. By disclosing information about authorised signatories, dependents, relatives, potential beneficiaries, employees, agents, or other representatives as outlined above, you warrant that you have the consent of those parties to such collection, use, and disclosure of their information as described in this Policy.

Information from telephone, e-mail, online chat, or text message communications with Vanguard Australia: If you communicate with Vanguard Australia by telephone, e-mail, online chat, or text message, we may keep a record of that communication. In accordance with applicable law, we also may record and monitor telephone calls for training, quality assurance, security, and customer service purposes.

Information you provide to public websites or social media platforms that relate to Vanguard Australia or our products or services: We may also collect information about you from public websites or social media where you have communicated in relation to Vanguard Australia or our products or services.

Information contained in surveys: Vanguard Australia or a Vanguard Australia service provider may ask you to complete surveys for research and client satisfaction assessment or similar client service-related purposes. You are not required to respond to those surveys, and any information collected by Vanguard Australia or on Vanguard Australia's behalf that you provide in response to those surveys is at your discretion.

If you do not provide the Personal Information requested, we may not be able to process an application, provide services to you, or provide you with information about our products and services.

3.2 What Other Information do we collect automatically?

We collect information about you automatically on our Sites and through emails that we send to you, including whether you click on or select links in our emails. We use a variety of technologies, such as cookies, web beacons, and similar mechanisms, as described further below, to collect Other Information that helps us understand how our Sites are used and how you interact with information that we send you. Specifically, when you visit the Sites, we or our third-party service providers may automatically collect a variety of technical and navigational information about you via these technologies, including: your computer or device type; operating system version; browser type and version; user agent string; Internet connection type; mobile network provider; date and time of your visit; time since your last visit; web pages you view; links you click; searches conducted on the Sites; the internet protocol (IP) address used to access our Sites; your general geographic location (e.g., your city, state, post code, or metropolitan region); and the website visited before our Sites. For more information about the information that is collected, please see the section below titled "Website Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising." We also may use similar tracking technologies in e-mails that we or third parties send to you, as further described below. To learn more about how our Sites use cookies, please visit the Vanguard Cookie Policy.

  • Cookies: A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored on your computer, tablet, mobile phone, or other device when you visit a website. Cookies contain information that is transferred to or read on your device and allow websites to recognise devices and store certain information, such as user preferences. Cookies are used to distinguish you from other users of our Sites. This helps us to provide you with a useful experience when you browse our Sites and also allows us to improve our Sites. We and our third-party service providers use session cookies, which link your actions during a particular browser session and expire at the end of that session, as well as persistent cookies, which remain on your device and allow us to remember your actions or preferences across multiple browser sessions.

If you are concerned about having cookies on your computer, you can set your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being set, allowing you to decide whether to accept it. You can also delete cookies from your computer. The help feature on most web browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to receive notice when a new cookie is set, and how to disable cookies altogether. However, if you choose to block or delete cookies, certain features of the Sites may not operate correctly. Information about how to opt out of the use of cookies for certain purposes (such as interest-based advertising) is discussed below in the section titled "Third-Party Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising."

  • Web beacons: The Sites or the e-mails that you receive from Vanguard Australia may use an application known as a "web beacon" (also known as a "pixel tag" or "clear gif"). A web beacon is an electronic file that usually consists of a single-pixel image. We and our service providers may use web beacons and cookies to determine whether and when you receive and open our e-mails; these beacons and cookies may also capture information such as the type of device, operating system, e-mail program, and web browser used to view the e-mail, the IP address from which you opened the e-mail, and whether you click on any links in the e-mail. These technologies enable us to gauge the effectiveness, relevance, and value of our e-mail communications, as well as to target relevant advertising to you and to measure the impact of that advertising on your Vanguard relationships.

We may combine Other Information with additional information that we have collected about you, including, where applicable, your name and other Personal Information. When we combine Other Information with Personal Information, we treat all of the combined information as Personal Information. If you have registered for secure access on our Sites or accessed an e-mail we have sent you that includes a web beacon or sets a cookie, we are able to combine the information we collect about your usage of our Sites with other information we know about you, such as any searches you conduct or information you request during your web session. We can also identify your computer or device on each visit to our Sites, even if you do not log on, and determine whether you came to our Site by clicking on an e-mail link. This enables us to link information about your Site visits, as well as about Vanguard Australia ads that you may have viewed on other websites, to you. We may use this combined information to assess the appeal and usefulness of the information and tools offered on our Sites and the effectiveness of our e-mail communications and online advertising, as well as to identify Vanguard Australia products and services that may be of interest to you. For more information about how we and our service providers use information for analytics and advertising purposes, please see the section below titled "Website Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising."

4. Use and Disclosure
4.1 How do we use Personal, Sensitive and Other information?

We use the Personal, Sensitive and Other Information that we collect for the purposes described in this Policy, for the purposes for which it was provided to us, as required by law, and for our business purposes, including:

  • To establish and administer accounts and your relationship with us, to fulfill the terms of any agreement you have with us, and to otherwise provide Vanguard Australia's products and services to you;
  • To communicate with you, notify you about important updates or changes to Vanguard Australia's products and services, and address relevant inquiries or complaints;
  • For marketing and promotional purposes, consistent with applicable law. For example, we may use your Personal Information, such as your e-mail address, to send you news and newsletters, or to otherwise contact you about products or information we think may be of interest to you. Although we hope you will find our promotional communications of interest, you may opt out of receiving them by following the "unsubscribe" instructions at the bottom of each communication. You may also elect to receive only certain kinds of communications from us using our online e-mail preference centre (if available). Please be aware that there is certain information we are required by law to provide to you and you cannot opt out of receiving this information;
  • To tailor the content, information, and advertising that we may send or display to you, including as discussed in the section below titled "Third-Party Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising," to offer location customisation and personalised help and instructions, and to otherwise personalise your experiences while using the Sites. Please see the section below titled "Website Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising" for information about how to opt out of tracking through third party analytics;
  • To comply with our legal obligations and protect our legal rights, including, without limitation, to comply with record-keeping, reporting, and tax obligations under applicable law (such as corporations, tax, managed investments or securities, superannuation, privacy and anti-money laundering laws);
  • To count and recognise visitors to the Sites and various Site features and better understand how users access and use our Sites and Vanguard Australia products and services;
  • To create new products and services or improve our existing products and services;
  • To support Site performance, perform Site analytics, enhance Site navigation, and improve our web design and functionality;
  • For Site and account security purposes; and
  • For other research and analytical purposes.
4.2 To whom do we disclose Personal and Other Information?

We may disclose Personal and Other Information to third parties for the following purposes, as permitted by law:

Related Companies: We may disclose Personal, Sensitive and Other Information to our related bodies corporate (Vanguard Related Companies) for the purposes described in this Policy. Vanguard Related Companies may contact you by e-mail, where permitted by law, to make you aware of Vanguard's product and service offerings.

Service Providers: We may disclose Personal and Other Information to our service providers, who use it to perform tasks on Vanguard Australia's behalf. Among other things, these service providers help us manage and improve the Sites, provide Vanguard Australia services, mail disclosures and statements to you, and administer your accounts. Our service providers may collect, process, and retain information about you, directly on behalf of Vanguard Australia. Vanguard Australia's service providers include:

  • Any organisation or sub-contractor involved in providing, managing, or administering the Sites, related systems, or other Vanguard Australia services, such as administrators, insurers, mail houses, e-mail senders and providers, technology service providers, and third parties that provide analytics and advertising services as described in the section below titled "Website Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising"; and
  • Vanguard Australia's auditors, consultants, legal advisors, and other professional advisors.

Customer Agents: We may disclose Personal Information to your agents or representatives, including:

  • Your financial advisor;
  • Any administrator or trustee for a fund or trust to which your investment or superannuation balance is to be transferred or rolled over;
  • Your legal representative or attorney;
  • A representative who is entitled to instruct on, or receive, the proceeds from a deceased member’s or investor's account balance (for example a Legal Personal Representative, executor, or administrator) or any person we contact to assist us in that process;
  • Your employer for superannuation purposes (but only to the extent required by law);
  • Other financial institutions that hold an account in your name or on which you are authorised to act, for example, where amounts have been transferred to or from that account; and
  • Other organisations that you have authorised to receive your information, such as data aggregators, provided you have consented to Vanguard Australia's providing this information.

Legal Purposes: We may use and disclose information about you as we believe reasonably necessary to protect the rights and property of Vanguard Australia and Vanguard Related Companies, including to establish legal claims or defences, to obtain legal advice, to defend our legal rights, to protect our rights or property and those of Vanguard Related Companies, to protect against fraud and abuse, to protect other users of our services and our Sites, and to protect the life, body, or property of others (individuals or entities). We also may disclose information about you in order to comply with regulatory requirements, a judicial proceeding, court order, or other legal process, such as in response to a court order or subpoena, or where otherwise required by law. We may disclose information to authorities investigating (or who could potentially investigate) alleged fraudulent or suspicious transactions in relation to your account or any other account on which you are authorised to act.

Sale or Other Transfer of Vanguard Australia: We reserve the right to disclose information to facilitate the licensing, merger, sale, assignment, acquisition, financing, securitisation, insuring, bankruptcy, or other transfer of our technology or business, or a portion thereof, to third parties, as permitted by applicable law. By agreeing to the terms of this Policy, you are consenting to this disclosure.

Market Research: We also may provide information to market research companies or Vanguard Related Companies for the purpose of assessing information about our business or client base. We may provide our clients' or prospective clients' contact details to market research companies to undertake research on behalf of Vanguard. For example, we may run client satisfaction surveys or run focus groups on proposed products.

Marketing: We may also provide information to third parties who assist Vanguard Australia in providing market insights and information about products, services, or other marketing material that may be of interest to you.

Direct Sharing through Third-Party Websites and Services: The Sites may enable you to share information directly with websites or online services operated by third parties. For example, the Sites contain features that allow you to share articles or content through Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other services, and to view content through video players and other services (such as the YouTube video player). If you choose to use these features, you may disclose information to those websites or services and their users, and the public more generally. These websites and services may also set and/or access a cookie on your device. Because these third-party websites and services are not operated by Vanguard Australia, we are not responsible for the content or practices of those websites or services. The collection, use, and disclosure of information through these websites and services will be subject to the privacy policies of the third-party websites or services, and not this Policy.

Competitions, Contests, and Promotions: Vanguard Australia may use an agency to run competitions, contests, or promotions on the Vanguard Australia Sites or elsewhere, and if you choose to participate, we or third parties may request your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and other information where it is necessary to ensure your eligibility and to comply with lottery and gaming regulations. In compliance with the relevant regulations, it may also be necessary to publish details of the winners of competitions in appropriate news media.

Aggregated Information: From time to time, Vanguard Australia may share aggregated information about users of the Sites or Vanguard Australia's products and services, such as sharing reports on the usage of the Sites or Vanguard Australia's services for regulatory reporting or marketing purposes.

4.3 Disclosure of Sensitive Information to third parties

Disclosure of Sensitive information to third parties may be required from time to time for the purposes of providing you products and services.

We will always ensure that those to whom we disclose your Sensitive Information have the legal right to receive it. We will only disclose Sensitive Information where consent has been provided, however without consent we may not be able to process insurance applications or assess claims.

5. Website Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising

We partner with third parties to collect the information discussed above to engage in analysis, auditing, research, and reporting. These third parties may set and access cookies on your computer or other device and may use web beacons to collect information about your activity on the Sites. In particular, the Sites use Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics to help collect and analyse certain information for the purposes discussed above. The information generated about your use of the Sites may be transmitted to and stored by Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics on servers outside your country of residence. You may opt out of the use of cookies by Adobe Analytics here. You may opt out of the use of cookies by Google Analytics here.

We also partner with third parties to provide targeted advertising services that are customised based on your online activities over time and across unaffiliated websites ("Interest-Based Advertising"). These third parties may use cookies and web beacons to collect information about your activity on our Sites, and they may combine it with information about your activity on other, unaffiliated websites. For example, third parties may use the fact that you visited the Sites to target ads for Vanguard services to you on non-Vanguard Australia websites. In addition, our third-party advertising providers might use information about your use of the Sites to help target non-Vanguard Australia advertisements based on your online activity in general.

For more information about Interest-Based Advertising and how to opt out, please visit the Australian Digital Advertising Alliance (ADAA) opt-out page, available at http://www.youronlinechoices.com.au/opt-out/.

Although our Sites currently do not respond to "do not track" browser headers, you can limit tracking by taking the steps discussed above. The use of online tracking mechanisms by third parties is subject to those third parties' own privacy policies, and not this Policy.

6. Cross-Border Transfer of Information

Vanguard Australia generally maintains centralised servers and systems in Australia and may maintain servers and systems elsewhere. These servers and systems are managed by or on behalf of The Vanguard Group, Inc. or Vanguard Related Companies in or outside Australia. Vanguard Australia also may subcontract the processing of your data to, or otherwise share your data with, other third parties in Australia or countries other than your country of residence. As a result, the Personal, Sensitive and Other Information that we collect through or in connection with the Sites may be transferred to and processed in Australia, the United States, or another jurisdiction outside Australia for the purposes described above, pursuant to methods permitted by Australian laws for ensuring that information about you will be adequately protected. This list may be updated from time to time. The data protection laws in these countries may be different from, and less stringent than, those in Australia. We take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipients of your data are subject to appropriate contractual obligations to safeguard and protect your Personal, Sensitive and Other Information and comply with applicable privacy obligations. By accepting this Policy, using the Sites, or by providing any Personal, Sensitive or Other Information to us, you expressly consent to such transfer and processing.

7. Information Quality

Vanguard Australia relies on the accuracy of the information provided by its clients and others. We take reasonable efforts to ensure that Personal, Sensitive or Other Information collected by us or on our behalf is accurate, up to date, and complete, in accordance with applicable law. If any information about you changes or you have any concerns regarding the accuracy of information about you held by Vanguard Australia, you should contact us at the address provided in the "Contact Us" section below.

8. Information Security and Retention

We use commercially reasonable physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect your Personal Information and Sensitive Information from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction in accordance with applicable law. Please be aware that despite our best efforts, no data security measures can guarantee 100% security all of the time. If you have online account access, we recommend that you take steps to protect against unauthorised access to your password, phone, and computer by, among other things, signing off after using a shared computer, choosing a robust password that nobody else knows or can easily guess, and keeping your log-in and password private.

Vanguard Australia retains Personal Information and Sensitive Information for as long as necessary to provide our services to you, to fulfill the purposes described in this Policy and/or our business purposes, or as required by law, regulation, or internal policy.

If your Personal or Sensitive Information is involved in a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm to you, we will notify you and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

9. Choices, Access, and Correction of Information

We provide you with the ability to access, review, correct, or inquire about information that we hold about you, as required and permitted under applicable law. You also may have a right to oppose or limit the collection and processing of your information as described in this Policy, or to revoke your consent, although we may be unable to provide services to you if you oppose this processing or if you revoke consent.

If you would like to access, review, correct, or inquire about your information, place limitations on the collection or processing of your information, or revoke your consent, please send us a request at the address or e-mail provided in the "Contact Us" section below. In your message, please indicate the right you would like to exercise and the information that you would like to access, review or correct. Please note that we may need to take additional steps, such as to verify your identity, before we can grant your request. As permitted by law, we will notify you of the basis for any denial of your request.

If you would like Vanguard Australia to stop sending promotional communications to your e-mail address, you may opt out of receiving them by following the "unsubscribe" instructions at the bottom of each communication. You may also elect to receive only certain kinds of communications from us using our online e-mail preference centre (if available). Please be aware that there is certain information we are required by law to provide to you and you cannot opt out of receiving this information.

You may opt out of the use of your information for analytics and online interest-based advertising by following the steps detailed above in the section titled "Website Analytics and Interest-Based Advertising."

10. Contact Us

If you have any further questions relating to this Privacy Policy, wish to request access to or correct personal information we hold about you, or wish to lodge a complaint about the way in which we have handled your personal information, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Client services
Vanguard Australia
GPO Box 3006
Melbourne VIC 3001


Client services 1300 655 101 (8:00 am to 6:00 pm Melbourne time, Monday to Friday)



Vanguard Australia treats any complaints about our handling of personal information seriously. We will fully investigate any complaint you lodge with us and seek to provide a response as soon as practicable and, in general, no later than 30 days after the receipt of the initial complaint.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you may refer the matter to external dispute resolution or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner may be contacted at www.oaic.gov.au or by phone at 1300 363 992.

11. Changes to This Privacy Policy

We will post changes to this Policy on our Sites along with the effective date of the changed policy. We recommend that you review this Policy periodically. If we make a material change to this Policy, you will be provided with appropriate notice.