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Requests for Kiwis’ data drops 24 per cent

Trade Me has released the seventh edition of its annual Transparency Report today, with the number of requests down 24 per cent year-on-year, from 1,795 to 1,366 in the year ended 30 June 2019.

Trade Me’s Policy and Compliance Manager James Ryan said like many New Zealand-based companies, Trade Me receives enquiries for information from government agencies to assist them with their responsibilities to maintain the law. The Transparency Report details the requests for Trade Me members’ data from the New Zealand Police and government agencies.

“Transparency reporting is about being open and honest about the requests we receive for our customers’ data. We hope that publishing this report gives New Zealanders insight into how we work with these agencies to keep Trade Me trusted and safe.”

Mr Ryan said the company has been committed to producing an annual Transparency Report since 2013 and is one of just three companies to be awarded the Privacy Trust Mark by the Privacy Commissioner for their work.

“We create this report each year because it’s the right thing to do. We reckon more New Zealand companies should follow suit and be transparent with their customers. We know there are other local companies who receive a lot more requests than us and Kiwis have a right to know how their data is being shared.”

The statistics
The number of requests for Trade Me members’ account data from Police dropped from 1,348 to 923 in 2019 (down 31.5 per cent year-on-year). Trade Me also received 443 requests from other government agencies (other than Police), 213 statutory declarations to support Disputes Tribunal proceedings, and 48 requests from insurance companies.

Of the Police requests, the most information requests were in relation to stolen goods (down from 408 in 2018 to 231), non-delivery of goods (down from 217 to 146) and drugs (down from 284 to 145).

“This year, 98 per cent of Police releases were made via the Privacy Act and the remaining 2 per cent were made under a production order. Of these requests, 29 per cent did not see any information released.”

Mr Ryan said Trade Me’s Trust and Safety team work hard to release only relevant and necessary information.

“We only release information when it’s legally requested of us and we’re satisfied it’s appropriate. If we reckon a request is too broad or insufficient, we will push back and we did that 23 times last year,” he said.

The full report sets out this data by region and crime classification.


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