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COLFO Reveals Mail Privacy Breaches




The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) has hit out at errors in correspondence that led Police and Customs to reveal the private details of firearm owners in letters.

Images show enveloped letters from NZ Police and Customs which allow anyone handling the mail to identify the recipients as licenced firearms owners, without having to open it.

COLFO spokeswoman Nicole McKee says the privacy breaches show that data registries can be let down by human error as much as insecure technology and hacks.

“Even simple mistakes like misfolded contents in envelopes can undermine a secure database. The results can be devastating - such as thieves targeting the recipient to steal firearms, or making fake firearm licences. That’s why licenced firearms owners generally keep a low profile.

“Human error, as well as technology failure, is why licenced firearm owners don’t trust the Government’s planned registry of all firearms,” she said.


Below – Incorrectly folded letters and envelope choices display licence and firearm details. Customs staff hand wrote address details on the envelope (whited out).

envelope showing
the words 'restricted weapons/parts' and 'importer' through
the window, along with name, occupation, and address
(details blanked out)

envelope showing a
firearms liscence number and the words 'importer' through
the window, along with name, occupation, and address
(details blanked out)

© Scoop Media

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