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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 41 - 60 of 328

Case Note 235239 [2013] NZ PrivCmr 1 : Dealing with child's health information when parents are separated

We received a complaint from a mother who had requested her child’s health information from a medical clinic.  The clinic had declined to provide the information because the child’s father did not want the information to be released.

This complaint raised issues under the Health Information Privacy Code (“the Code”) and the Health Act 1956 (“the Health Act”).

The Code and Health Act

Under section 22F of the Health Act, parents and guardians a...

Case Note 228045 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 8 : Woman requests geotechnical property report from a council's insurance company

A woman alleged that work undertaken by her local council had been the cause of damage to her property. She notified the council that she was considering taking legal action about this.

The council advised its insurance company of the potential legal action. The insurance company arranged for a geotechnical report to be carried out, in order to try and establish the cause of the damage to the property.

The woman later asked for a copy of the geotechnical report ("the report") fr...

Case Note 234888 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 9 : Council accidentally discloses personal information in response to a request for official information

A man made complaints about his neighbour to his local council. His complaints were made on the basis that his name would remain confidential.

The neighbour asked the council to provide him with all of the information it held about the complaints. This request was made under section 10 of The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 ('LGOIMA').

Section 10(1) of LGOIMA says:

Any person may request any local authority to make avai...

Case Note 232027 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 10 : Bar responsible for patrons' use of noticeboard

A man was involved in an altercation in a bar which resulted in his removal by Police. A number of days later, he returned to the bar to find that a patron had placed photographs of him, taken during the altercation, on the public noticeboard.

The man was humiliated by the photographs. He was a regular patron of the bar, which was in a small town. The man complained to the Police who told the bar to remove the photographs, which it did.

However, the photographs had been on the...

Case Note 236708 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 11 : Man refused access to information on his medical file about his deceased mother

A man requested a copy of his medical file from a former healthcare provider.

The healthcare provider gave the man most of the information from his file, but withheld some information from him.

Rule 6

Rule 6 gives individuals the right to request access to the health information an agency holds about them.

An agency cannot refuse a rule 6 request unless it has a proper basis to do so under sections 27-29 of the Privacy Act ("the Act").

The h...

Case Note 235405 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 12 : Phone provider refused to give woman information about calls made to her cell phone

A woman had received several calls from an unidentified person, which had alarmed her.

She contacted her phone provider and asked for details about calls made to her cell phone on several specific days. She asked for the dates and times she received calls, and the phone number/s of the person making the calls.

The phone provider refused to provide her with this information because it did not believe she was entitled to information about calls that had been made to her ("incoming...

Case Note 232613 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 7 : Man seeks access to loan documents completed by former wife

A man made a request to his bank for copies of loan documents that had been completed by his former wife. These loans had been taken out using a house owned jointly by the man and his former wife as security, but without the man's knowledge or agreement.

The bank had refused to provide these documents on the basis that they were not 'personal information' about the man.

The complaint raised an issue under principle 6 of the Privacy Act, which entitles individuals to access to pers...

Case Note 228129 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 6 : Sensitive health information disclosed

An ACC claimant had two claims - a sensitive claim and a current physical injury claim. As part of the rehabilitation for his physical injury, he was referred to a physiotherapy clinic and to a careers assistance agency. Information about his claims was sent to these two agencies by ACC as part of the referral.

The man became aware that a large amount of information had been provided to the two agencies by ACC. It included some sensitive claim information, detailing sexual abuse, which...

Case Note 235915 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 5 : A hospital employee disclosed health information about a woman to a mutual friend

A woman was being treated for a serious illness at her local hospital. Her doctor dictated a file note about the woman's illness and the proposed treatment. This was transcribed by an employee of the hospital.

This employee had been a close friend of the woman, and was able to identify her from the dictation. The hospital employee subsequently disclosed to a mutual friend that the woman was unwell. The mutual friend then contacted the woman to express their concern.

The woman had...

Case note 222306 [2012] NZ PrivCmr 4 : Collection of credit information about job applicant by potential employer

A woman told us that she had applied for a job as a part-time retail assistant with a large retail chain employer.

The job application had been completed online on the store's website. As part of the process she was required to consent to the store carrying out a credit check on her. The woman's application was unsuccessful, and she complained to us that she considered the store's collection of her credit report was unnecessary for the purpose of determining whether she was a suitable a...

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.

T...