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Making the future Tim Henwood
17 December 2014

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Today we’re releasing our strategy on how we’ll approach technology issues over the next three to five years. We’re going to try and make privacy easy, and we’re going to motivate businesses to take privacy seriously.

At the core of the strategy is a focus on ensuring private sector agencies are capable and accountable. After spending some time researching and talking to people involved in local and international technology and IT, we reckon this is the best way to build maturity in the private sector.

Why the private sector? While the Privacy Act covers both private and public sector, we’ve been giving most of our attention to the public sector for a long time. If we want New Zealanders’ privacy to play a role in innovation, we need to talk to the private sector more.

We’ve also made sure the approach doesn’t forget everyone else. The priorities we’ve chosen will help build public sector privacy and the ‘privacy literacy’ and empowerment of New Zealanders too.

What you’ll see from us over the next 12 months is a move towards creating tools and resources that are business focused. We want privacy implementation to have as little friction as possible.

We’ll also make sure we’re visible in places where maybe we haven’t been until now. We won’t just talk to the privacy officers and legal teams in organisations, we will work to help people to realise that good privacy is everyone’s responsibility. We’ll be getting out among the decision makers and the executives to make sure privacy is on their radar.

We’re going to use our powers more consistently too. We know there are plenty of businesses out there who want to do right by their customers, but there are also those that disregard their privacy obligations. We’ve recently introduced a naming policy to make examples of poor privacy performance and there will be more small changes like this to come.

So please, have a read of the technology strategy. You can read the Making the Future document and give us your feedback. We’re looking forward to working alongside New Zealand business to get some privacy wins for all New Zealanders. Also, if there are tools or resources that you think we should be providing, let us know in the comments.

Special thanks also to all the interview and focus group participants, as well as to the wonderful folk at Maven who helped us through the process.

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