On this section of the site, you'll find our publications and collections of research material. Look at the links on the left hand side of this page for the different categories of information. If you want to look for material on a particular topic, use the general search button or advanced search link (both available at the top of this page).
Address by the Privacy Commissioner to the Health Summit '98
15 July 1998
We're drowning in information and starving for knowledge
Rutherford D Rogers
The health sector has been in a state of flux for the last five years, and it seems that will continue for some time to come. It is important that with all the changes in philosophy, responsibility and terminology, the concepts of confidentiality and privacy are not lost.
Response to enquiry from Dominion on NZMJ article 'Medico-Legal Aspects of Managing Deliberate Self-Harm in the Emergency Department'
In the article two practising psychiatrists say the Privacy Act makes it difficult for them to tell the mother of a 24-year old woman patient that she (the patient) has attempted suicide and may well do so again. As it happens they are quite wrong about the law, and ignore the possibility of being open and up-front with their patients.
'Much of the stuff you find is nonsense, but because it comes off the computer it has the mark of being credible.'
INTRODUCTION It is sometimes suggested that the Privacy Act imposes unnecessary constraints on businesses. In particular, shortly after the introduction of the Act, businesses working with people's personal information - credit bureaux and direct marketers - were concerned about the impact of the Privacy Act on their ability to carry on business on a day to day basis.
Address by the Privacy Commissioner to the National Immunisation Co-ordinator Conference
22 May 1998
I have been asked to speak on the privacy implications of immunisation programmes. As with any public health initiative, the success of an immunisation programme depends to some extent on the sharing of information between health agencies.
This can be seen to some extent in your own functions. I understand that immunisation co-ordinators have be...
An employee of a Crown Health Enterprise (CHE) complained about the retention of information about an incident which occurred in 1984 and resulted in his suspension. He had been reinstated subject to the condition that the suspension notice and the reasons for its issue would remain on his personal file for two years. He had also been informed that a repetition of the incident would result in his dismissal. Ten years later, the employee learned that the information had not been removed and as...
A father complained about a refusal by the Children, Young Persons and their Families Service to release information to him. The father had requested access to the file relating to his daughter so he could use it in a Family Court hearing on custody and access.
He also complained to the Ombudsman about the Service's refusal to make this information available under the Official Information Act.
The Service had investigated allegations that the father had abused the child. These all...
A man asked for access to personal information held by a credit reporting agency. The agency had previously experienced some difficulties with him, so it took the added precaution of despatching the documents by courier. However, the man did not receive the documents. He alleged that the agency had failed to take reasonable safeguards to protect his personal information and suggested it should have required the courier to obtain a signature on delivery. However, I did not agree.
The complainant had a dispute with a Council arising from his involvement in a Council-initiated project. A Council employee wrote to the complainant about the project and copied the letter to the Mayor, a councillor and a third person. The letter contained a reference to the complainant's possessions which were at the project site.
The complainant considered that the letter contained personal information about him and objected to its disclosure to these people. He complained to me abou...