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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 61 - 80 of 318

Case Note 207201 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 18: Family Court most appropriate forum to deal with allegation of inappropriate disclosure

A lawyer for the child was appointed for the purposes of a Family Court matter concerning a man and his former partner. By coincidence the lawyer was also appointed lawyer for the child in separate Family Court proceedings involving the man's girlfriend.

The man considered that the lawyer had disclosed his personal information to his girlfriend's former partner and his lawyer during the other Family Court proceedings.

The man had complained about these actions to the Judges pr...

Case Note 218337 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 17: Customer's booking information disclosed on company website

A customer purchased travel related services from a company. The company sent him an email with a link to his booking details on its website. The customer noticed that the website url link ended with his booking number. He observed that by changing the booking number, he could view booking details for other customers. He realised that other individuals would also be able to view his booking information.

The booking details included personal information about customers like:


Case Note 211294 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 16: Man has to supply details of pending criminal charges pre-employment

A man wanted to apply for a job at an educational institution. As part of this process he was required to fill out an application form. One of the questions in the application form asked the man to list any criminal convictions and whether he had any criminal charges pending. The man did not consider that information about pending criminal charges was necessary for the recruitment process.

Principle 1

Principle 1 of the Privacy Act requires that personal inform...

Case Note 209484 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 15: Police disclose recognisable image of crime victim to media

A man ('the victim') worked at the front counter of a finance company which was robbed at gun point. The finance company provided CCTV footage of the robbery to the Police. The Police took a series of still photographs from the footage and disclosed these to the media to assist in apprehending the offender. However, the victim was clearly visible in one of the photographs. This photograph was published by a number of news agencies, both in print and on the internet.


Case Note 210106 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 14: Woman seeks access from former employer to content of verbal reference

The complainant applied for a job, and gave permission for her former manager to be contacted for a reference. She did not get the job, and believed that this was because her former manager had given a negative reference. She asked her former manager for details of the reference but they refused, saying that it had been a verbal reference, and nothing had been written down.

Under principle 6 of the Privacy Act individuals are entitled to have access to personal information that...

Case Note 209903 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 13: Man complained that Trade Me required his firearms licence number

A man complained that when he placed a bid on an auction for a firearm on the Trade Me website he was required to enter his firearms licence number. He considered that it was unnecessary to provide this personal information to Trade Me and he was concerned about what would be done with it.

Collection of personal information

Principle 1 of the Privacy Act provides that an agency must not collect personal information unless it is collected for a lawful pur...

Case Note 208123 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 12: Woman wants to know names of Police officers who accessed her records

A woman wrote to the Police and requested the names of Police employees who had accessed her file over the past five years. The woman also requested the dates and times when her file had been accessed. The woman had concerns that particular officers may have accessed her information inappropriately.

The Police told the woman the number of employees who had accessed her file but refused to provide the names of employees, or dates and times, under grounds in the Official Information Act....

Case Note 212548 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 11: Woman requests copy of responses she gave in a phone survey

A woman requested a copy of the responses she had given to a market research company as part of a phone survey.

The research company provided her with a copy of the factual responses she had given, including her age, gender, and location. However, it refused to provide her with a copy of the remainder of her responses on the basis that the opinions she had given were not personal information about her.

The woman made a complaint to our Office that the company had refused to pro...

Case Note 211183 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 10: Ministry of Social Development discloses information to the Official Assignee

The man who raised concerns in this case had been admitted to the No Asset Procedure ('the NAP') by the Official Assignee. As part of this process the man's creditors were notified that he had been admitted to the NAP, and were given a chance to object.

In this case the Ministry of Social Development ('the Ministry') was one of the man's creditors. After the Ministry was notified that the man had been admitted to the NAP, it provided personal information to the Official Assignee object...

Case Note 211715 [2010] NZPrivCmr 9: Employer posts information about former employee on website

A woman resigned from her job and took a personal grievance against her former employer. The former employer posted on its website a copy of the personal grievance the woman had filed in the Employment Relations Authority. The former employer also posted a number of other statements from other employees rebutting the content of the personal grievance.

The woman complained to us about these actions. She said that she was having difficulty finding a new job, and she believed that this wa...

Case Note 212156 [2010] NZPrivCmr 8: Personal information on internet was publicly available

A polytechnic course that taught English gave students a paper which contained a photograph of a woman with lines of text beneath. The text consisted of basic sentences such as: 'My name is .. and I live in ......'. Students were asked to copy the text as part of their lessons.

The woman whose photograph appears on the paper complained that she did not consent to her photo being used by the polytechnic. The woman contacted the polytechnic. It apologised for using her image without cons...

Case Note 203097 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 7 : Guarantor is entitled to access loan information of borrower

A man took out a loan with a finance company. His mother agreed to be guarantor for the loan.

Due to ill-health, the man was finding it difficult to meet weekly repayments on the loan and fell into arrears. He contacted the finance company and explained the delay in payment was due to the state of his health and a new repayment schedule was organised. However, over the following months the man was unable to keep up with repayments and the finance company contemplated enforcing its righ...

Case Note 200062 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 6 : Woman complains about mobile phone company taking a photocopy of her driver's licence

A woman had a contract with a mobile phone company, and required a new mobile phone. She told us that when she went to purchase a new mobile phone the employee of the company took a photocopy of her driver's licence. She had asked why this was required, and was told it was ‘for security reasons'. The woman complained to us about what she saw as the unnecessary collection of personal information about her, namely her driver's licence.

We notified the mobile phone company that the compl...

Case Note 210778 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 5 : Woman complains about Council refusing her request for an email

A woman requested a copy of an email about her which had been sent by Council senior management to staff. The Council refused the request on the basis that the email could not be found.

The woman made a complaint to our Office that the Council had refused her request.

Principle 6

Under principle 6 individuals have a right to request access to personal information held about them by an agency.

An agency cannot refuse a principle 6 request unless it...

Case Note 202956 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 4: Woman complains about disclosure of transcript of meeting

A woman told us she had been the victim of bullying by a colleague. Her employer had held a meeting with her to discuss her allegations of bullying. The meeting was recorded, and a verbatim transcript produced. The employer subsequently provided a full copy of the transcript to the alleged bully. The woman considered this to be an interference with her privacy.

The employer acknowledged that it had given the full transcript to the alleged bully, but believed it had a proper basis to do...

Case Note 210300 [2010] NZPrivCmr 3: Private Investigator uses credit reporter to carry out initial witness search

A man applied to a credit reporter for a copy of his credit report. Upon receiving the report, he was shocked to find an enquiry on it from a private investigation firm.

The man was not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint to the credit reporter, and complained to our Office. In particular, the man complained that the private investigator had not provided the credit reporter with any evidence to support its reasons for accessing his credit report.


Case Note 211472 [2010] NZPrivCmr 2: Woman's health information released by District Health Board to Ministry of Health

A woman complained that a District Health Board had provided her anonymised health information to the Ministry of Health as part of statistical information concerning serious and sentinel events within the DHB.

The information was published by the Ministry of Health and resulted in the woman's anonymised health information being published in a local newspaper. The woman considered that the information released by the DHB enabled her to be identified.

Rule 11 <...

Case Note 205558 [2010] NZPrivCmr 1: Debt collector fails to follow procedure and loads disputed debt with credit reporter

A woman incurred a small debt which was transferred to a debt collector due to her failure to pay it by a certain time. The woman contacted the debt collector and advised it that she disputed the debt. Ten days later, the debt collector transferred the debt to a credit reporter, who then loaded it as a default on the woman's credit report.

The woman ultimately paid the debt but she was not happy that her disputed debt had been transferred to a credit reporter.


Case Note 209438 [2009] NZPrivCmr 20: Estate for deceased doctor fails to transfer files

Following the death of a general practitioner, the medical files of his patients went into storage along with the rest of his professional and personal belongings.

A number of the deceased doctor's patients went to a new practice nearby. The new practice contacted the spokesperson for the deceased doctor's estate and requested that he send through the files of these patients under section 22F of the Health Act.

The spokesperson for the estate advised that, as no executor had be...