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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).
A prison inmate made a complaint against the Department of Corrections and a television company. The Department allowed a television broadcaster to film a documentary inside a prison. It had told the inmates that they would not be identifiable in the final version of the film. The inmate alleged that he was identifiable when the documentary went to air.
The broadcaster had agreed that inmates would not be identifiable and that any identifying features would be removed or 'pixelated' bef...
An insurance company asked a firm of licensed private investigators to investigate an insurance claim. The private investigator followed the claimant and took photographs of her. These were subsequently given to the insurance company. She made a complaint against the insurance company to my office.
I first had to consider whether the private investigator had acted as an agent for the insurance company in taking the photographs of the claimant. Section 126(2) of the Privacy Act provides:...
A claimant receiving weekly compensation and other allowances from the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation (ACC) lived with his wife on a farm and they offered a bed and breakfast accommodation. The ACC suspected that the claimant was working on his farm and that the home helpers it had provided were being used to assist with the bed and breakfast accommodation rather than providing the intended forms of assistance to the claimant.
A client of the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation (ACC) requested access to all of the information it held about him. The information was contained in a number of claim files dating back over 20 years. The client asked for a full photocopy, but the ACC declined to provide this because of the amount of information involved. The client was invited to view all the files and the ACC offered to photocopy any parts the complainant wanted to take away.
A subscriber to a telecommunications company requested a confidential listing. The telephone operator to whom she spoke did not correctly complete the service order relating to her request, so it was rejected by the computer system. The order was returned to the operator, who again filled it in incorrectly, and it was again rejected. It was finally completed in such a way that the subscriber's listing was included in the telephone directory. The subscriber was not contacted to clarify her pre...
Report By The Privacy Commissioner To The Minister Of Justice On The Mandatory Disclosure Of Executive Remuneration Under Section 211 Of The Companies Act 1993
1. Introduction and key recommendation
1.1 The company law reform package which culminated in the Companies Act 1993 introduced a new requirement for companies to publish details in their annual reports of executive remuneration exceeding $100,000. That requirement has a detrimental effect on the privacy of some of the...
Address by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane, to the Photo Library Association of New Zealand
I've been asked to talk today about how the Privacy Act impacts on photo libraries. I will not be able to answer all the specific queries you may have, but I can make some general comments and point you in the right direction. I do not know your business so it is dangerous for me to give you off the cuff opinions.
Some of my comments are more pertinent to photographers than photo li...
The complainant requested access to personal information held by a private sector company which had previously employed him. The company agreed to supply the information but requested a payment of $200 together with a photocopying charge of 30 cents per page ($336 in total).
I wrote to the company pointing out that s.35(2) of the Privacy Act prevents agencies from making a charge for processing an information privacy request including deciding whether or not the request was to be grante...
The complainant was admitted to a mental health unit for assessment after his wife reported that she had concerns about his mental state.
Prior to his detention, mental health staff carried out an initial assessment of the complainant's state of mental health. In doing this, they approached a doctor, the complainant's former employer, and his minister for information about him. All had recently been in contact with the complainant.
Address by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane, to the Waikato Justices of the Peace Association
I have been asked today to tell you about the Privacy Act - I have 45 minutes to do this. In this time I will tell you some of the advantages of the Act and the success stories. How it is about commonsense rather than silly interpretations, and how it promotes good business practice.
The Act is nearly four years old. July 1996 marked the commencement of full remedies under the Act....