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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 81 - 100 of 322

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.

Principle...

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.

Pr...

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...

Case Note 210634 [2009] NZPrivCmr 19: Date of birth displayed on secondhand dealers' licences

A man complained to us that Secondhand Dealers' licences contain the holder's date of birth. These licences must be displayed to the public. The man was concerned that publicly displaying the date of birth could create a risk of identity theft, and also that a date of birth is a personal matter.

We raised the issue with the Ministry of Justice.

Section 8 of the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2004 ('the Act') provides that an application for a Secondhand Dealer's Licence...

Case Note 202115 [2009] NZPrivCmr 18: Man complains about estranged family member unlawfully accessing IRD file

A man became estranged from his sister and, ultimately, found himself in a financial dispute with her. The sister worked for IRD. During the financial dispute, it became apparent to the man that his sister was accessing his IRD files. The man told IRD of his concerns and IRD agreed to investigate them.

Some time later, the man's concerns were confirmed and he again brought this to IRD's attention. The man made a complaint to us about the fact that IRD had let his sister access his fil...

Case Note 211257 [2009] NZPrivCmr 16: Several people complain that a government department lost their personal information

In 2008 a staff member from a government department dropped a file in an Auckland street. The file contained a list with personal information about a large number of individuals.

The information was subsequently passed to media outlets.

The department followed the Privacy Breach Notification Guidelines responding to the incident. They informed the Privacy Commissioner's Office and all individuals affected about what had happened. Some of those individuals then complained to the...

Case Note 207459 [2009] NZPrivCmr 17: Woman's request for information from insurance company refused

A woman made a request for a copy of a report prepared by a private investigator for her insurance company. The report related to an investigation being undertaken by the insurance company into alleged insurance fraud involving her insurance claim. The insurance company refused to provide the woman with a full copy of the report. The woman subsequently made a request to the insurance company for all of the personal information held by it about her and her husband.

Principle 6

Case Note 206924 [2009] NZPrivCmr 15: Man urgently requests personal information from the Police

A Police employee applied for a promotion but was unsuccessful. The Police have an internal review process that unsuccessful applicants can elect to take, and the employee wanted to do so. Applicants have to request a review within 10 days.

To support his request for review, the man made an urgent request to the Police for personal information relating to his application and interview. In particular he wanted access to notes made by the short-listing panel.

There were no notes...

Case Note 204595 [2009] NZPrivCmr 14: Commissioner sets charge for providing information

A couple approached their accountant and requested copies of their personal information. Some of the information held by the accountant also related to a company run by the couple.

The accountant refused to provide any information as the couple allegedly owed him money for services provided. He said he would not provide any information until the couple had paid the debt.

The couple complained to us that the accountant's actions were a breach of principle 6 of the Privacy Act. <...

Case Note 204040 [2009] NZPriv Cmr 13 : Health centre used photographs in promotional material

A health centre was conducting a health promotion campaign. It asked one of its employees whether it could take photographs of her and her daughter to use in the campaign. After the photographs were taken, the woman told the health centre that she did not want it to use any of the photographs of her. However, she was willing for the health centre to use her daughter's photograph on a poster for a year.

Several years later, the health centre used the daughter's photograph on an invitati...

Case Note 203856 [2009] NZPrivCmr 12 : Bank teller improperly accesses customer account information

A bank discovered that a teller had accessed a couple's joint bank account without authorisation 58 times over two months. The teller also disclosed information about their accounts to a third party, a former partner of one of the couple.

The bank contacted the couple to let them know what had happened. It set up a meeting between the couple and an area manager to discuss the situation and appropriate compensation. However, the bank and the couple were unable to settle the matter.
...

Case Note 202833 [2009] NZPrivCmr 11 : Telecommunications service provider mistakenly sends husband's telephone account to estranged wife

A couple decided to separate. They each decided to stay with the telecommunications service provider they had used during their marriage. They informed the company of their new postal addresses.

A year after the couple's separation, the company mistakenly sent the husband's account to his estranged wife's postal address. The account included all the phone numbers that had been dialled from the husband's phone.

The husband discovered the company's error when his wife dialled some...

Case Note 200407 [2009] NZPrivCmr 10 : Man believed that computer company retained copy of hard drive

A man took his computer to a computer company for repair. The company advised him that it would have to copy his hard drive to determine what the problem was with the computer.

The man agreed to this initially. However, later that day, he decided that the information on his hard drive was highly sensitive. He contacted the company to say that it should not copy the hard drive. Unfortunately, it had already started work on the computer, and had made the copy.

The relationship b...

Case Note 209125 [2009] NZPrivCmr 9 : Parole Board subject to requests for personal information

A prisoner complained that he had made two requests to the Parole Board ('the Board') for copies of his file but had not received a response.

Under principle 6 of the Privacy Act, an individual is entitled to have access to personal information that is held by an agency. However, the definition of ‘agency' in section 2 of the Privacy Act does not include a court or tribunal, in relation to their judicial functions.

Normally, the judicial functions of the Board would be exempt...

Case Note 203014 [2009] NZPrivCmr 8 : Stamp on envelope identified woman's health condition

A woman was an employee at a hospital. She was voluntarily admitted for a short time as a mental health inpatient. The hospital sent her discharge summary notes to her home address. The back of the envelope was stamped 'Mental Health Inpatient Unit'. The woman was distressed by this incident. She was flatting, and any of the flatmates could collect letters from the mailbox. Her flatmates had previously not been aware that she lived with a mental illness.

As a staff member at the hospi...

Case Note 101052 [2009] NZPrivCmr 7 : Ministry's information processes improve after failure to observe Code of Conduct

A woman submitted a hardship application to the Ministry of Social Development ('the Ministry') in relation to a debt she owed to the Ministry. She had to provide evidence of her income on the application form. She provided some information that the Ministry suspected was false.

Eleven days later, the Ministry issued a notice under section 11 of the Social Security Act to her bank requesting all financial information about her. The woman complained to us that the Ministry had improper...

Case Note 204348 [2009] NZPrivCmr 6 : Mobile phone on-sold without deleting previous owner's information

A woman bought a mobile phone for her teenage daughter, but the phone stopped working shortly afterwards. She returned the phone to the mobile phone retailer and received a replacement. She waited in the store while the retailer supposedly erased her daughter's information from the phone.

Around two months later, the woman's daughter received a text message from a friend. The friend said that a stranger had been sending her text messages asking about the daughter. The woman discovered...

Case Note 204195 [2009] NZPrivCmr 5 : Man objects to retention of information on Police database

A man discovered that the New Zealand Police had been informed that he had assaulted a young woman. The Police had noted the information on the National Intelligence Application, its main database. The man believed that the information was incorrect, and that the Police should not have retained it once he told them that it was incorrect. He asked the Police to delete it from the database.

The Police refused to remove the information from the database, since they believed it was correct...

Case Note 201433 [2009] NZPrivCmr 4 : Government agency withholds complaints and legally privileged information from requester

A man asked a government agency for all of the information it held about him, particularly legally privileged documents and copies of complaints made about him and referred to in Court.

The agency provided the man with a summary of the complaints, but withheld specific details of the complaints. It also withheld documents that it claimed were legally privileged.

The man complained to us that the agency had wrongly withheld this information.

Principle 6