People have been asking us recently: “If I make a complaint- can I stay anonymous? Can’t the Privacy Commissioner step into my shoes and keep my identity secret and out of the action? Does the agency or person need to know I’ve complained about them at all?” The answer is that they probably do need to know who you are and exactly what you’ve complained about. The reason is natural justice.
Privacy authorities typically perform regulatory and enforcement functions on their own - or occasionally with another public body - within their domestic jurisdiction. They know the domestic law they enforce. The law will clearly lay out the authority’s role and provide a clear pathway to the intended outcomes.
(This post originally ran on The Spinoff.) Until last night I was unfamiliar with the commissioning process for pieces for The Spinoff. Mine came in the form of a Twitter direct message. “John! fancy writing us a post for the Spinoff on the new legislation and why you’re not a cheerleader clown!?”
Do you have a privacy predicament or do you simply want to know more about privacy and the law? Last year, our office took over 8,000 enquiries from the public through our 0800 phone line and via email. We also received nearly 300 media enquiries on a wide range of topics including data breaches, the Harmful Digital Communications Act, drones and public registers.