Risks Associated with Information Technology and Records

Social Media

The Social Media policy in Guide Lines covers all social networking sites, video and photo-sharing websites, micro-blogging sites, blogs, forums and discussion boards.  The simple rule of thumb is that if you, your Leaders or youth members, are participating in social media sites you should take the same approach as if you were interacting face to face.  If you wouldn’t say it face to face, don’t post it online.  The following guidance applies to all use of social media, including personal sites:

  • personal and confidential details must not be published
  • normal copyright and intellectual property rights apply
  • don’t use GGA or State logos for endorsements
  • photos and videos cannot be posted unless adults have given consent and youth members parents have given written permission and Managers/Leaders should seek permission with each posting
  • comments that could be misinterpreted or viewed as denigrating or discriminatory must not be made.

Parents should be asked not to post photos of their child onto social media sites if those photos contain images of other children.


What if social media is being used on behalf of a Unit/District/Region?

The guidance above still applies.  In addition:

  • Acknowledge who you are. The person posting should identify who they are and their role. It must be clear your site doesn’t represent Guiding in your State.
  • Inform the relevant person in your State. If required formally register your site with the State Office
  • Link to State website. Ideally posts should be brief, redirecting visitors to your State website.
  • Separate personal profiles and Guiding profiles. On the Guiding website keep your profile limited.   If you want, create a fuller profile for friends and family.
  • Keep communication visible. Communication with group members should be through a group page and have more than one adult as a member of any group.

Being Involved with Guide Units contains some information on how social media can be used as part of your overall marketing and public relations activities.


What about my personal use of social media?

Of course you can use social media to connect with our own friends and family.  If a youth member requests to be a friend on your personal site, don’t accept but separately direct them to your Guiding profile.


Internet Sites

Regions, Districts or Units might want to create their own internet sites.  These sites must only contain information about Guiding which is specific to the respective Unit, District or Region.  Every site must have approval and should contain the disclaimer, “This website is not an official site of Girl Guides Australia.  Girl Guides Australia takes no responsibility for the content of this website.”  The guidelines above on social media also apply to Internet sites.

Given the increasing use of social media, this topic could be a valuable addition to either the Region meeting or District meeting agenda.



Girl Guides Australia has a privacy policy which meets the requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles. It is available on the GGA Website here.  As a Manager you need to ensure that your Leaders:

  • only collect name, date of birth, address, contact details and health information of youth members
  • only use this information for the purposes that it was intended – that is Guiding
  • hold all information securely
  • never provide personal information to third parties e.g. outdoor activities providers, unless it is to enable a Guiding activity and the third party satisfies the SGGO that they comply with the relevant privacy laws.

The Australian Privacy Principles apply to all organisations and the 13 principles include that personal information:

  • should be managed in an open and transparent way
  • should only be collected if reasonably necessary
  • must not be disclosed unless the individual has consented
  • must not be disclosed for the purpose of direct marketing
  • collected must be maintained accurately and be up-to-date
  • must be secure and protected from misuse or loss.

The State databases are the repository for membership information and have been established in accordance with privacy law.  Managers can request reports from the database and so do not have to hold duplicate membership records for youth or adult members.  When information needs to be shared for Guiding purposes e.g. the contact details of all the Leaders in the District, this report can be manually edited into a format that removes the unnecessary personal information (e.g. dates of birth or health information).  Old reports can be retained because they are useful for tracking membership over time or looking at retention rates but they should be held securely and in line with the privacy considerations.

Last Modified: 13/07/16 at 4:45 PM