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

 


Privacy watchdog to get more teeth

Privacy watchdog to get more teeth

28 May 2014

A strengthened and updated Privacy Act will give New Zealanders more power over their information and give the Privacy Commissioner better tools to deal with challenges posed by the digital information era, says Privacy Commissioner John Edwards.

Mr Edwards welcomed the Government’s intention to reform the 20-year-old Privacy Act and says it makes the law more equal to the task of protecting New Zealanders' personal information.

The proposed changes to the Privacy Act are the culmination of a process that began with a four-year-long Law Commission project to review privacy, resulting in comprehensive recommendations in its 2011 report.

The overall impact of these changes will be to give the Office stronger investigative powers, the authority to order that information be given to people, and the power to order agencies to fix privacy problems.

“These reforms will power up our privacy law to bring it more in line with world class standards of protection that New Zealanders are entitled to expect,” Mr Edwards said.

“Since the Privacy Act was passed 20 years ago, we have seen huge technology-driven changes. The Law Commission report on which the law changes are based recognises that individual New Zealanders have countless new opportunities from technological developments, but that there are also real risks.”

“People's information can be lost or hacked; organisations collect huge amounts of our confidential information and then fail to protect it; individuals can breach others’ privacy by highly offensive internet postings. The law needs to be flexible and strong enough to be able to deal with these kinds of problems.”

An important change is that the Privacy Commissioner could order agencies – through issuing a compliance notice - to fix business practices that breach the law. This targeted tool would address those rare occasions when no other solution has worked and people are at risk of harm from misused information or poor information handling.

In another change, the privacy complaints process would be streamlined, allowing for groups of people to bring "representative" complaints - similar to class actions.

The Privacy Commissioner would also be able to make binding decisions on complaints where a person has asked for information about him or herself and has been refused.

Other significant changes include data breach notification to become mandatory where there is a risk of significant harm or where the breach is a serious one.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Labour: Healthy Homes Bill Passes First Reading

Some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families are on their way towards safer living conditions with the passing of the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in Parliament last night, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Home, And A Way

The one thing even more popular than an Auckland house is offering advice on how to afford an Auckland house. So, on the grounds it can’t be worse than some of the stuff that’s out there, here’s my three cents* worth. [*Up 50% since 2013!] More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news