Charging for information is a subject that comes up in complaints made to us from time to time.
Organisations sometimes get it wrong when they respond to a person’s request for their personal information. Information is sometimes lost, displaced or accidentally deleted. A recent privacy case dealt with by the Human Rights Review Tribunal considers when an organisation can call it quits when it comes to searching for personal information in responding to an access request.
We live in an age where agencies collect and hold a lot of information about us. When we then request access to that information, this places demands on the time and resources of agencies to meet their obligations under the Privacy Act. Agencies sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed when responding to requests for personal information - especially where a high volume of information is held.
Mrs Patel was outraged. She’d visited her GP for a follow-up check after her hand surgery, and he’d asked her about her history of depression. She didn’t think she’d had anything of the sort, and decided to ask the receptionist for a copy of all her medical notes to see what else was in there. The young receptionist assured her that the doctor owned the notes so she couldn’t have them.
There are three main credit reporting agencies in New Zealand: Centrix, Veda and Dun & Bradstreet. According to Veda, a thousand people a year challenge the information held in their credit files. This is a right people have under the Privacy Act – to see information agencies hold about them, and request a correction if it’s wrong.