Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


European Union endorses New Zealand Privacy Act

European Union endorses New Zealand Privacy Act

Media release
20 December 2012

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff today welcomed the announcement that the European Commission had formally decided that New Zealand’s Privacy Act offers an adequate standard of data protection for the purposes of European law.

“The European decision is a vote of confidence in our privacy law and regulatory arrangements. This decision establishes New Zealand, in the eyes of our trading partners, as a safe place to process personal data.”
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has been working for a number of years towards this outcome. It has assisted successive governments in amending the Privacy Act to meet EU requirements and has worked with European institutions to gather the information they need to make an assessment.

Assistant Commissioner Blair Stewart, who has led more than 10 years of OPC work on EU adequacy said, “Europe and New Zealand share a common commitment to upholding human rights. As part of this, all European countries have data protection laws much like New Zealand’s Privacy Act 1993. However, since 1995 European businesses have been prohibited by law from transferring personal data to countries outside Europe for processing unless special safeguards prescribed in law are in place.

“Providing the special safeguards in the manner required by EU law can be expensive and difficult even where companies are already operating with comprehensive privacy laws like New Zealand’s. This is why it has been so important for New Zealand to obtain an official decision that our law is adequate to meet EU standards. The European Commission decision establishes that all New Zealand companies in all circumstances can meet those European requirements. Few countries outside Europe have achieved this status.

“The decision should be helpful to New Zealand businesses that trade with Europe or hope to do so as it substantially simplifies compliance with data protection requirements.

“The decision to recognise New Zealand law for the purposes of EU data protection requirements is a small step in making privacy laws around the world work together to protect people better. Substantial variations in legal standards and incompatible regulation are also a problem for businesses that operate across national borders. Global interoperability of privacy regulation has the twin underlying goals of creating a trustworthy environment and avoiding unnecessary barriers to cross-border information flows.”

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has released a ‘Backgrounder and Questions & Answers’ which provides more information about the European Commission decision and aspects of EU law and process.
The EU media release is at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-1403_en.htm
Justice and Trade Ministers’ media release: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/kiwi-businesses-benefit-eu-recognition-nz-privacy-law


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>

Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news