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Court order made to protect confidentiality of information

17 October 2019
Release no. 39

Court order made to protect confidentiality of information contained on stolen computer equipment

The Commerce Commission has obtained a Court order to help protect the confidentiality of information contained on stolen computer equipment belonging to one of its external providers.

The Commission has been granted an interim injunction by the High Court. The injunction is made against unknown persons who may at any stage possess information on or taken from the equipment. The injunction prohibits any person from dealing with the stolen information in any way, including copying, communicating or publishing it.

The High Court has also made orders suppressing information relating to the external service provider, the nature of the services provided by the provider to the Commission, and information about the burglary not disclosed by the Police.

Anyone failing to comply with these Court orders could be held in contempt of court.

In addition, some of the information on the stolen equipment is subject to a section 100 order issued by the Commerce Commission under the Commerce Act. This makes it a criminal offence for any person in possession of information on or from the equipment to disclose or communicate it to anyone while the order is in force. The order covers information about open Commission matters under the Commerce Act and the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act. The order is unable to cover the Fair Trading Act and closed matters. However, all matters are subject to the Court order.

Both orders are in force until further notice.

The Commission encourages any person who has information about the stolen computer equipment to contact the Police or the Commission.

Further details about the security incident are outlined in our media release from 8 October 2019.

The Commission will not be commenting further due to the Police investigation and while the two independent reviews into the security incident are underway.


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