New Zealand's privacy laws are just one part of a world-wide picture of privacy protection. Privacy is protected as a human right at the highest international level.
The United Nations has adopted provisions or instruments that protect privacy. For example:
Those UN instruments are set at a very general level.
A number of international bodies have developed more detailed guidelines for information privacy protection. Examples from two organisations that New Zealand is a member of are:
New Zealand has filed an Individual Action Plan (IAP) under the APEC Privacy Framework. IAPs from other APEC economies are also available for comparison and further information. You can view the APEC Privacy Enforcement Workshop held in July 2013 here.
New Zealand has published its enforcement jurisdiction and policies as a participant in the APEC Cooperation Arrangement for Cross-Border Privacy Enforcement (CPEA).
See the Summary Statement of Privacy Enforcement Authority enforcement practices, policies and activities.
View the European Commission decision that New Zealand privacy law provides an adequate standard of data protection for the purposes of EU law.
Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities is the principal forum for regional privacy authorities to form partnerships and exchange ideas about privacy regulation, new technologies and the management of privacy enquiries and complaints.
International conferences of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners are held annually. They are attended by delegates representing data protection and privacy authorities from around the world. The ICDPPC website has more information about past conferences:
The network was created to strengthen personal privacy protections in this global context by assisting public authorities with responsibilities for enforcing domestic privacy laws strengthen their capacities for cross-border cooperation. The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner's Office has been participating in an annual GPEN sweep.
The group meets periodically throughout the year in member countries, and members have developed common positions on a wide range of issues. IWGDPT working papers and common position papers are available from the IWGDPT website:
One issue illustrates well the way in which the IWGDPT works. We are very much aware of theft of personal information and identity theft. Theft of information can take place from web browser software that stores this information in the web browser cache. This problem particularly affects personal computers shared in public spaces. The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner raised the problem as an issue that was particularly relevant to cyber cafés and we suggested that cyber café operators should address as an aspect of security and privacy best practice. The Office presented a paper on this subject which IWGDPT subsequently adopted. View the paper (PDF 2 pages).
In 2008, the Privacy Commissioners of New Zealand and Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding which allowed for cooperation between their offices on privacy-related issues. The agreement covers sharing information about surveys, research projects, promotional campaigns, education and training programs, and techniques in investigating privacy violations and regulatory strategies.
It also addresses cooperation on complaints with a cross-border element and the possible undertaking of joint investigations.
Read the Memorandum (3.6MB)