Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

FMA apologises for privacy breach

Media release
MR No. 2019 – 58
7 November 2019

The FMA today apologised for a privacy breach that meant complaints documents sent to the regulator between 2015 and 2017 were potentially accessible via internet searches.

FMA Chief Executive Rob Everett said the issue was rectified immediately when the regulator became aware of it, and reassured the public that any information provided to the FMA was now held confidentially.

The FMA has identified six cases where sensitive personal information provided to the regulator may have been accessed.

The FMA has contacted the people involved to advise them of the issue and any further steps they should take to protect their information.

A preliminary review has identified 27 instances where documents that supported complaints were accessed by internet searches. The documents were inadvertently uploaded to a portal on the FMA website. Of these, six contained sensitive personal information such as financial information. The remaining documents were either already publicly available or did not include any sensitive personal information.

“We apologise to those people who supplied us with information and also to the wider public for this error. Their trust and confidence is critical to us,” said Mr Everett.

The FMA first learned of the issue following a media inquiry on 21 October. The regulator immediately shut down its website to ensure all information was protected. The website was restored on 23 October once the FMA had confirmed no further confidential information was at risk.

“Our immediate focus was to ensure our systems were secure and to protect people’s information,” said Mr Everett.

“We have reviewed what files were uploaded in this way, what information they contained and contacted those people whose sensitive personal information may have been accessed.

“We are working hard to ensure we get to the bottom of the issue.”

The issue relates to documents that were provided to the FMA several years ago, and the FMA is still investigating the circumstances. However, an initial review indicates that information supplied through an online complaints form between 2015 and 2017 flowed into a folder holding information to be uploaded to the FMA website.

At no point was the information ever linked to public content on the FMA website, nor could it be located by browsing the website.

All but two of the documents were accessed following a change in automated search algorithms on 30 September 2019. The FMA believes this is related to ordinary enhancements to search engine algorithms, which took place around that time.

The FMA has worked closely with the relevant government agencies and departments, and has engaged KPMG to assist in its investigations into the cause and extent of the incident.

Mr Everett said a full review of the issue would be conducted by an independent external party. 

As a precautionary step, the FMA has removed the ability to upload complaints information via the website.

Anyone with questions about information they have provided to the FMA should contact the regulator.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

TradeMe: Property Prices In Every Region Hit New High For The Very First Time

Property prices experienced their hottest month on record in December, with record highs in every region, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.\ Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the property market ended the year with ... More>>

Motor Industry Association: 2020 New Vehicle Registrations Suffer From Covid-19

Chief Executive David Crawford says that like some other sectors of the New Zealand economy, the new vehicle sector suffered from a case of Covid-19. Confirmed figures for December 2020 show registrations of 8,383 were 25% ... More>>

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>

ALSO:

OECD: Area Employment Rate Rose By 1.9 Percentage Points In The Third Quarter Of 2020

OECD area employment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, but remained 2.5 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level The OECD area [1] employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose ... More>>

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>

NIWA: 2020 - NZ’s 7th-warmest Year On Record

The nationwide average temperature for 2020, calculated using stations in NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which began in 1909, was 13.24°C (0.63°C above the 1981–2010 annual average). New Zealand’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when... More>>

Quotable Value New Zealand: Property Market Set To Cool From Sizzling To Warm In 2021

Nostradamus himself could not have predicted the strange series of events that befell our world in 2020 – nor the wild trajectory of New Zealand’s property market, which has gone from “doom and gloom” to “boom and Zoom” in record time. Even ... More>>