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Government to overhaul Privacy Act

Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Justice


27 March 2012

Media Statement

Government to overhaul Privacy Act

Justice Minister Judith Collins today announced the Government will repeal and re-enact the Privacy Act 1993 following its review by the Law Commission.

The Commission’s recent report Review of the Privacy Act 1993 made over 100 recommendations for reform and the Government will consider those recommendations as part of its wider reform of privacy.

“Our current privacy law has been in place for almost 20 years and predates the creation of the internet. Huge changes to technology and information flows have occurred during that time and they have overtaken our privacy laws,” Ms Collins said.

Personal information is private and should not be divulged unnecessarily. However, people now expect more information to be available more quickly and, as social media has shown, are more likely to share what used to be considered ‘private information’.

“The foundations of the Act are sound, but it needs to be updated to reflect our changing attitudes and the way people, business and government use information in the 21st century,” Ms Collins said.

“We have already acted to address the immediate need for better information sharing for public service delivery through the Privacy (Information Sharing) Bill which is expected to be passed later this year.

“It’s important we ensure that the Act is fit for purpose for the individuals, agencies and businesses who are guided by it.

“I welcome the Law Commission’s extensive report and thank the Commission for their comprehensive work,” Ms Collins said

Further announcements regarding specific policy proposals will be made later this year.

ENDS


Notes for editors

For more information about the response to the Law Commission’s review go to the Ministry of Justice website: http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/g/government-response-privacy/.

The Law Commission’s report is at: http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/project/review-privacy?quicktabs_23=report.

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