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Getting privacy right in our data future

Getting privacy right in our data future – Privacy Commissioner

28 July 2014

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report.

Mr Edwards says the report makes an important contribution by recognising that the country needs to build the right data environment to maximise the business, social, cultural, education and health opportunities for all New Zealanders.

“This is an inclusive, forward-looking document that emphasises adding value to our economy and society through good data management. It is a much needed marker in the development of a national data strategy,” he said.

“What is particularly pleasing is that the Forum recognises the role that good privacy regulation plays. People need to have confidence and trust that information about them is stored securely and used in ways that they are happy with. Without that trust, any plan or vision for the country’s data-sharing environment would be flawed.

“Adding privacy to the New Zealand brand of data management makes us more competitive in a global market. If you let your customers know that you protect and use personal information about them to the highest of privacy standards, it can only help you attract more.”

Mr Edwards says the establishment of an independent data council would ensure a considered and deliberate approach to new ways of extracting maximum value from data, while a review of the country’s information legislation could lead to the creation of a very modern framework for data storage and sharing.

The way that the world uses data is changing rapidly, said Mr Edwards, and New Zealand has to be ready to make the most of that change.

Note for Editors
The New Zealand Data Futures Forum report – Harnessing the economic and social power of data – is available here. The Forum was established in December 2013, by the Ministers of Finance and Statistics, to explore the benefits and risks for New Zealand of sharing, linking and using data.
Read the Privacy Commissioner’s submission to the Data Futures Forum here.

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