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

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election