Here at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, we have a statutory duty to use our best endeavours to resolve complaints. Many complaints are resolved when the respondent agency simply apologises to the complainant.
Many people in New Zealand - such as students and the elderly - use a concession that gives them a free or subsidised fare on public transport. In order to assess whether someone is eligible for these concession cards, the transport provider collects personal information. This information includes things like student ID cards, tertiary student ID cards or other photo ID.
If you’re one of the thousands of New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) members whose names and email addresses were accidentally disclosed to a criminal third party, you might be wondering what you can do about it. The first thing you need to do is to try and understand what happened and what the risks are to you.
Callers to our Enquiries service often start with “I need some legal advice”. If the caller means guidance on his or her Privacy Act rights or the obligations of an agency, then we can help. But if by “legal advice” he or she means a legal “opinion” about how the Privacy Act might apply, then this is something our Enquiries service can’t do.
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.
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.