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Latest in News and publications

Displaying 1161 - 1170 of 1198

Case Note 0549 [1994] - Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries would not release identity of the person who had made allegations about the way the complainant had treated his calves

The complainant asked me to investigate the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries not to release to him the name of the person who had made allegations about the way he had treated his calves. Someone had told MAF that the complainant was weaning his calves too early and that some of them had worms.

I noted that the identity of the person who provides information about another person is considered to be personal information about that other person and therefore subject t...

Case Note 0451 [1994] - Credit reference agency had incorrectly noted a default to a bank

The complainant alleged that a credit reference agency had incorrectly noted a default to a bank on his credit reference. The complainant said that this debt had been assigned to a company and had never been in default during the time that he owed it. The complainant requested that a notation be attached to his files stating that he disputed that the debt was in default. The agency had refused to delete the information from the complainant's file.

Information privacy principles 7 of the...

Case Note 0437 [1994] - Corporation withholds document that was being used to discuss the complainant's entitlement to certain benefits

The complainant asked me to investigate a decision of the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation (the Corporation) to withhold information that it planned to put to the complainant at a forthcoming meeting that had been arranged to discuss the complainant's entitlement to certain benefits.

In refusing to give access to the information the Corporation relied on Section 27(1)(c) of the Privacy Act, which provides that a good reason to refuse access to information i...

Case Note 0305 [1994] - Complainant requested access from her insurance company to a file relating to a claim she had made in respect of a stolen vehicle

The complainant had requested access from her insurance company to a file relating to a claim she had made in respect of a stolen vehicle. The company refused access on the basis that documents on the file were protected by legal professional privilege and that section 29(1)(b) of the Privacy Act provided good reason to withhold the information.

Legal Professional Privilege

Section 29(1)(f) of the Act provides that an agency may refuse a request if -

"the disclosure of...

Case Note 0191 [1994] - Complainant requested access to a letter written by his doctor to a specialist

The complainant requested access to a letter written by his doctor to a specialist. The doctor maintained that letters written to specialists are "private" and in any case he had not retained a copy of the letter.

I noted that a specification that a document is "private" did not necessarily amount to a reason for withholding the information under the Privacy Act. However, in this case the complainant had obtained a copy of the letter he was seeking from another source. In this circumsta...

Case Note 0189 [1994] - Political party had an agreement with a telephone company and obtained confidential telephone numbers

The complainant received a telephone call from a political party. She inquired as to how they had obtained her "confidential" telephone number and was told that party had an agreement with a telephone company whereby they obtained a directory of numbers.

The complainant asked me to investigate this disclosure by the telephone company. However, as this had occurred prior to the 1 July 1993 I had no jurisdiction to investigate this complaint.

I did make an informal approach to the t...

Case Note 0115 [1994] - Department of Social Welfare refused to provide the identity of a person who had made serious allegations about the treatment of the complainant's children

The complainant asked me to investigate a decision of the Department of Social Welfare to refuse to provide the complainant with the identity of a person who had made serious allegations about the complainant's treatment of her children.

The Department informed me that it did not in fact hold the identity of the person who made the allegations against the complainant. However, it did hold a small amount of information about this person that may have been identifying information in the h...

Case Note 0107 [1994] - Department of Social Welfare refused complainant's access to his file in its entirety

The complainant asked me to investigate the refusal of the Department of Social Welfare to allow him access to his file in its entirety. The Department had provided the complainant with access to his file but did not allow him to see the original version of some of the pages. Instead the complainant was provided with a typed copy of one page and a photocopy of another page which omitted identifying information about the person who had provided the information in these documents.

In dele...

Case Note 0083 [1994] - Police refuse complainant access to photographs used in evidence at his trial

The complainant asked me to investigate the decision of the Commissioner of Police to refuse the complainant access to photographs used in evidence at his trial.

When I examined the photographs in question, I found that only two of them were of the complainant. The other photographs did not constitute personal information about the requester and I therefore did not have jurisdiction to consider the complaint under the Privacy Act. The photographs did however constitute official informat...

Case Note 0062 [1994] - Debt collection agency contacted complainant at work by telephone and then by facsimile

A complaint was made that a debt collection agency contacted the complainant at work by telephone and then by facsimile thereby disclosing personal information. The facsimile stated :

"Unpaid Accounts. Please contact us urgently."

The facsimile was in fact sent to the head office of the complainant's employer, rather than the branch location at which she worked.

Following discussions with this Office, the agency agreed to revise its practices in the use of facsimile messages...