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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 301 - 320 of 327

Case Note 1827 [1994] - Credit reporting company failed to distinguish between a father and son

A credit reporting company failed to distinguish between the complainant and his father in providing credit ratings. The complainant alleged that because his information had not been corrected, which he had requested two years earlier, he had suffered inconvenience, humiliation and embarrassment when declined credit.

The credit company had no record of a previous request for the correction of the complainant's credit record. However, the company acknowledged that the complainant had rec...

Case Note 1101 [1994] - Use of section 11 of the Social Security Act by Department of Social Welfare - Information privacy principles 1, 2 and 4

I was asked to investigate the power of the Department of Social Welfare to invoke section 11 of the Social Security Act to obtain information about job applicants from an employer. The complaint was received from an industry association on behalf of one of its members.

The complainant did not wish to make this information available as it would breach their confidentiality with job applicants. There was also concern that employees and prospective employees would view the complainant as...

Case Note 1635 [1994] - Neighbour's camera aimed directly into the complainant's living area

The complainant asked me to investigate the actions of his neighbour who had set up a video camera aimed directly into the complainant's living area. He felt it was a breach of his privacy to be under surveillance from an unfriendly neighbour.

This complaint raised three issues:

(i) whether the camera was in fact capable of collecting information;(ii) whether, if the video camera was capable, this manner of collecting information would be a breach of IPP 4 as intrudin...

Case Note 1484 [1994] - Complainant requested a copy of her personnel file

The complainant on leaving the employment of a large government department had requested a copy of her personnel file. She had received no response to the request so asked me to investigate a breach of information privacy principle 6 which gives the individual the right of access to their personal information.

I wrote to the department requiring an explanation as to why the request had not been answered. I also informed the department that s.92 of the Privacy Act empowered me to require...

Case Note 1666 [1994] - Complainant had twice written to ACC requesting access to information held about him

The complainant had twice written to ACC requesting access to information held about him. The second letter was sent by registered post. After several months without receiving the requested information he asked me to investigate a breach of rule 6 of the Health Information Privacy Code which gives the right of access to an individual's own health information. Decisions on access requests must be made as soon as reasonably practicable and not later than 20 working days after the request is rec...

Case Note 0909 [1994] - Credit reference agency recorded a judgment debt based on incorrect records

A complaint was made that a credit reference agency had recorded a judgment debt, which had in fact been paid in full some time previously, showing it as still outstanding. The complainant had been unable to obtain credit on a number of occasions and believed this was because of the agency's incorrect records.

The complainant wrote to the agency asking that the record of the debt be deleted from the agency's database as the debt had been paid. The agency, after checking with the credito...

Case Note 0845 [1994] - Complainant requested access to personal information about himself held by the Commerce Commission

The complainant had requested access to personal information about himself held by the Commerce Commission. The Commission was investigating a complaint that a number of companies in the same business in the Auckland area had been party to price fixing agreements. The Commission wished to interview the complainant in regard to this. The Commission in the course of its investigation had interviewed other people, obtained documents pursuant to search warrants and created internal memoranda and...

Case Note 0769 [1994] - Complainant sought access to his medical records

The complainant sought access to his medical records. The doctor maintained that the complainant had already been given access to his records. However, after discussions with this office, in an effort to resolve the complaint informally the doctor agreed to make a photocopy of the records available to the complainant which could be compared with the original file in the doctor's office. As the complainant believed that some of the information on his file had been withheld from him, he was hap...

Case Note 0757 [1994] - Certain information was withheld when a complainant had requested access to his file

The complainant had requested access to his file held by the New Zealand Children and Young Persons Service. The file was released. However, certain information was withheld. The complainant asked me to investigate the decision of the Department of Social Welfare to withhold this information.

The information withheld related to references to the identity of a person who had made certain allegations about the requester's treatment of his son.

I noted that principle 6 of the Act pro...

Case Note 0635 [1994] - Complainant alleged that New Zealand Security Intelligence Service had disclosed personal information about him which he believed was both inaccurate and misleading

The complainant alleged that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service had disclosed personal information about him some time ago which he believed was both inaccurate and misleading. In September 1993 the complainant requested a copy of any file concerning himself held by the Service for possible correction pursuant to information privacy principles 7 of the Act. In response the Service issued a notice pursuant to section 32 neither confirming nor denying the existence or non-existence o...

Case Note 0613 [1994] - Bank reported debt to a credit reference agency

The complainant was involved in correspondence with a bank about arrangements for repayment of a debt. The bank reported this debt to a credit reference agency who listed the complainant as a defaulter. The complainant requested that the agency remove all details relating to this matter from their records on the grounds that he had an agreement for repayment of the debt which had been in force when the default had been listed. The agency refused to delete the information about the debt from i...

Case Note 0599 [1994] - Agency fails to remove complainant from mailing list

The complainant had purchased a video cassette through an advertisement placed by an agency. He complained that following this he had been sent a considerable amount of literature from the agency. The complainant had written to them asking them to remove his name from their mailing list. The complainant continued to receive literature.

Following discussions with my office the company offered to send a letter to the complainant explaining their position and offering their apologies. They...

Case note 0575 [1994] - Department of Social Welfare failed to provide the complainant with the personal information he had requested

The complainant asked me to investigate the Department of Social Welfare's failure to provide the complainant with the personal information he had requested. The Department had advised the complainant that they were unable to locate the information he was seeking. The Department relied on section 29(2)(b) of the Privacy Act which allows an agency to refuse a request for personal information under information privacy principles 6 if the information requested does not exist or cannot be found.<...

Case Note 0567 [1994] - Complainant convicted of sexually violating his step-daughter requested Department of Social Welfare give him access to documentation about his step-daughter

The complainant asked me to investigate the refusal of the Department of Social Welfare to give access to documentation of any notes made by any social worker or counsellor in respect of his step-daughter. During the course of the investigation I learned that he had been convicted of sexually violating his step-daughter

The Department's response to the request was that it considered the information to be confidential to the step-daughter and therefore the Department considered it was ne...

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...