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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 41 - 60 of 318

Case note 232848 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 3 : DRSL reviewers not required to provide hearing transcript under Privacy Act

An ACC claimant asked Dispute Resolution Services Limited ('DRSL') to formally review a decision made by ACC. DRSL is a specialist dispute resolution company which engages independent reviewers to conduct review hearings.

After the hearing was completed, the claimant asked the DRSL reviewer for a copy of a transcript of the hearing. The reviewer refused the request on the basis that transcripts are only provided if there is an appeal of the review decision.

The man complained to...

Case note 225627 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 2 : Man complains that Police did not properly check his information before 'red stamping' his vetting application

A man applied for a job that required him to agree to vetting by Police. The man authorised Police to release information about him to his potential employer.

The man complained to us that even though he had no criminal convictions, Police had marked his application with a red stamped warning that he should not be left unsupervised with vulnerable members of the community.

Police vetting applications

Police say the aim of the vetting process is to protect...

Case note 229558 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 1 : Employer uses monitoring software to collect personal information

As part of an employment investigation, an employer collected personal information from a man's work computer.

The information collected included emails sent to and from the work computer, as well as key stroke logs for the computer.

The employer used information collected from key stroke logging to access the man's personal web-based email account and copy several emails.

The man complained to us about the information his employer had collected.

We considered that sep...

Case note 225274 [2011] NZ PrivCmr 10 : Man complains about telecommunications company publishing his confidential telephone number

A man had an unlisted telephone number for personal safety reasons. He moved house and contacted his telecommunications company to give it his new address details, and to arrange for a new telephone number.

During this process the telecommunications company employee failed to transfer the confidential status of the man's old telephone number. As a result, the new telephone number was published in a publically available online directory.

The man complained about this to the telecom...

Case note 229963 [2011] NZ PrivCmr 9 : Man refused copies of complaints about his aggressive behaviour

A man attended a function run by a community organisation to which he belonged. The organisation later received several complaints about the man's aggressive behaviour at the function, including that he had struck another man who had asked him to leave.

The man asked the organisation for copies of the complaints it received about him. The organisation gave him a summary of the complaints, but refused to give him copies because it thought it couldn't do this without identifying who had m...

Case note 231747 [2011] NZ PrivCmr 8 : Authority of all executors not necessary to release deceased person's health information

A woman was named as a joint executor of her mother's estate. After her mother died, the woman requested access to her late mother's health information. Three health agencies refused to provide the information without the authority of the other executor to the estate. The other executor had refused authority.

The woman complained to us about the refusal to provide information to her.

The complaint raised an issue under section 22F of the Health Act and rule 11(4) of the Health Inf...

Case note 228235 [2011] NZ PrivCmr 7 : Man complains about nurse disclosing personal information about him to a mutual friend

A man was donating blood. During a conversation with the nurse taking his blood, he established that they had a mutual friend. The man asked the nurse to pass on his regards to the mutual friend.

The nurse subsequently did so, telling the mutual friend that the nurse had met the man while the man was donating blood.

The mutual friend then told the nurse some information about the man which was relevant to whether he was a suitable blood donor. The nurse passed this information on...

Case note 225347 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 6: Credit agency mistakes another man for debtor

A man received final demand letters from a credit agency about a tenancy debt that he did not owe.

In an attempt to clear his name, the man requested information from the credit agency about the alleged debt. The credit agency refused him access to this information stating that if the man was not the debtor, the disclosure of the true debtor's details would be in breach of the Privacy Act, and would involve the unwarranted disclosure of another individual's affairs. The credit agency su...

Case note 215508 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 5: Debt collection agency discloses information about a woman to a workmate

A debt collection agency had been attempting to contact a woman at her workplace.

When it was unable to speak to her, it left a message with a workmate asking for the woman to contact it and provided its name and contact number for this purpose.

This information was then put on a note and placed on a notice board where other staff members could read it.

The woman contacted the agency to raise concerns about the information it had disclosed to her workmate, but was unable to...

Case Note 218236 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 4: Man objects to pre-employment screening

A man applied for a job in a government department. As part of the application process the department used a company which specialised in pre-employment screening of potential employees.

The man was unsuccessful in his application, and made a request under principle 6 of the Privacy Act for the personal information held by the government agency in relation to his application.

Some information was provided, but some was withheld under section 29(1)(b) of the Privacy Act.


Case Note 221624 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 3: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry discloses name of man in context of criminal proceedings

A man complained that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry ('MAF') disclosed information about him to another person. The man considered that the information should have been anonymised.

Principle 11

Principle 11 of the Privacy Act states that an agency that holds personal information must not disclose the information unless the agency believes on reasonable grounds that one of the exceptions in principle 11 applies in the circumstances.

MAF was investig...

Case Note 221786 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 2: Bar scans and retains a copy of patron's driver's licence

A man visited a bar where he was asked by the doorman to produce identification. He produced his driver's licence which was scanned into a black box by the doorman before being returned to him. The man believed the box took a photo of his licence and recorded information about him.

The man complained to us that he had not consented to the scanning and storing of his licence. He also expressed concerns over who would be able to view the scanned information from his licence.

The bar...

Case Note 219105 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 1: Woman complains about debt collection company contacting her workplace

A woman complained to our Office about a debt collection company contacting her place of work.

She advised that the debt collection company had called her workplace hoping to talk to her. When her manager informed the debt collector that she was unable to take the call, the caller informed the manager of its name and number and gave her the woman's reference number and asked the manager to pass on the message.

The complainant advised that news that a debt collector had been trying...

Case Note 219773 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 25 : An individual requests personal information from the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

A man made a request to the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service ('the Service') under principle 6 of the Privacy Act for a copy of information held by the Service about him. The Service responded to the man's request by neither confirming nor denying that it held information about the man, and therefore relying on section 32 of the Privacy Act.

Principle 6 of the Privacy Act provides that where any agency holds personal information in such a way that it can be readily retrieved,...

Case Note 210870 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 24 : Medical centre fails to establish identity of requester and discloses health information about a patient to their former partner

A man, M, who was involved in legal proceedings with his former partner, X, was a patient of a medical centre. The medical centre previously provided medical care to M and his family when he and X were still together.

X visited the medical centre with her new partner, N, and they requested historical information about the family and, in particular, an incident which involved one of the children a number of years before.

The medical centre assumed that N was M and so released a...

Case Note 217784 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 23 : Woman complains that her landlord disclosed information about her to her flatmates

A woman complained that her landlord had disclosed health information about her to her flatmates.

The woman was one of three flatmates who had entered into a fixed term tenancy with the landlord. The woman became mentally unwell, and wanted to terminate her tenancy. Her psychologist wrote a letter to the landlord, supporting the woman's request that she be released from the tenancy on the basis that her mental health would decline further if she remained in the flat.

The landl...

Case Note 211497 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 22 : Complainant requests information provided to real estate agency by referees

The complainant applied to rent a house through a real estate agency. As part of that process the agency conducted a credit check and obtained references from the complainant's referees. The rental application was subsequently declined.
The complainant asked to see all the information the real estate agency held. No information was provided.

We contacted the real estate agency and it advised us that the only information it held was a credit check and the complainant's application f...

Case Note 209742 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 21: Councils not permitted to charge lawyers for providing rates information

A number of lawyers complained to us about local councils charging a fee upon a request for rates information on behalf of clients.

A lawyer acting for a property vendor requires rating information from councils to reconcile outstanding rates at the date of settlement for the sale of a property. The councils charged the lawyers a fee for providing this information.

The lawyers complained that as they were requesting personal information about their clients, councils should not...

Case Note 211597 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 20: Client requests information about her supervised access visits with her children

The Family Court ordered that a woman's visits with her children should be supervised through an approved supervised access service.

After some months the woman asked the supervised access service to provide a report of her visits with her children that included the staff's observations about her interaction with her children.

The supervised access service refused the woman's request, saying that it was the centre's policy to provide a report about supervised access visits onl...

Case Note 202975 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 19: Man seeks information from Police

The complainant made a request to the Police for the personal information they held about him in relation to an incident in which Police had been involved. This incident related to immigration charges that had been laid against the complainant by the Department of Labour. He specifically requested information about whether he had been under surveillance by Police prior to the incident. The Police provided him with a copy of the information about him that was held electronically on the Nationa...