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Latest in Media releases and statements

Displaying 241 - 260 of 261

Letter to the Editor - $10,000 Damages from Police to Woman

Letter to the Editor, Sunday Star Times by B H Slane, Privacy Commissioner

Dear Sir/Madam

Congratulations on reporting the decision of the Complaints Review Tribunal awarding $10,000 damages against the Police. The woman in this case was a victim. The case was about the way in which the Police treated the personal information of a victim. The decision is therefore a timely reminder to Police to have appropriate regard for victims' privacy. As you have reported, the Privacy Act...

Private Investigators Methods Unfair

Tactics employed by private investigators have come under scrutiny by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane.

After separate investigations into three complaints concerning the ways in which they went about collecting information, the Commissioner said that in one case the private investigator's methods had not been unreasonably intrusive or unfair, but he expressed concern about the other two.

The Commissioner cleared the ACC and a private investigator it employed to check on a cl...

Privacy Commissioner cautions MPs on mobile phone legislation

Members of Parliament should hesitate before accepting novel recommendations of the Select Committee which will enable prison officers to intercept mobile telephone calls.

The recommendation of the Justice and Law Reform Committee appears to anticipate problems about the use of mobile phones without having publicly explored other means for dealing with the problem. The Committee should inquire into the state of prison security which allows access to hidden cellphones in prisons and seek...

Publication of Cockpit Voice Recording Complaint not Upheld

A union complaint on the release of a cockpit voice recording transcript by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission has been turned down by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane.

The Airline Pilots Association complained to him about the Commission's report on the 1995 Ansett Dash-8 crash, near Palmerston North, which contained excerpts from the transcript and attached an edited version of the transcript.

The edited transcript did not include anything said by the pilots wh...

'Because of the Privacy Act...' may be challenged

Businesses and government agencies who fob people off with references to the Privacy Act may well get a call from the Privacy Commissioner's office. The Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane, is inviting people who believe they have had the Privacy Act wrongly cited to them to contact his Privacy Hotline to check out the situation.

'My enquiries officers will say if they think the Act has been correctly used and why. If that seems not to be the case, they will ask the caller for details in...

Letter to the Editor - Too costly?

Letter to the Editor, Evening Post, By Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner

Your report (December 16) on WINZ and benefit fraud states that data-matching, 'is under fire from the Privacy Commissioner for being too costly... '.

It is not.

B H Slane
Privacy Commissioner

Letter to the Editor 'Deter benefit fraudsters'

Letter to the Editor, Dominion, by Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner

AN ABRIGED VERSION OF THIS LETTER WAS PUBLISHED BY THE DOMINION ON 15 DECEMBER 1999. THE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS WERE OMITTED.)

Your editorial 'Deter benefit fraudsters' (December 7) misrepresents my position in relation to the many information matching programmes at present being conducted under the Privacy Act. You accuse me of chafing against data matching, of possibly obscuring its importance or weakening publi...

Proposed Amendments to the Health Information Privacy Code 1994

Statement by Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner, December 1999

I have given notice of my intention to amend the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 by :

  • adopting a new definition of 'hospital';
  • updating reference to various agencies and statutes;
  • expressly covering accident insurers and agencies which provide health, disability, accident or medical insurance claims management services;
  • including the Department for Courts as the department responsib...

Privacy and Children, Letter to the BSA

Letter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, by Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner

Dear Sir/Madam

PRIVACY AND CHILDREN

I write further to my letter of 10 August 1999.

As mentioned in my letter, I did not wish to limit my comments solely to the additional wording that the Authority is proposing. Comment is also needed on 'principle vii'.

Existing principle vii

The Authority's principle vii states:

'An individual who consents to the invasion...

Accident Insurance (Insurer Returns) Regulations 1999

Complaint by the Privacy Commissioner concerning requirements imposed by the Accident Insurance (Insurer Returns) Regulations 1999 relating to ethnicity information about identifiable individuals

Incorporating corrections made on 3 June

Complaint

Pursuant to clause 198 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives I complain in relation to clause 9(e) of the Accident Insurance (Insurer Returns) Regulations 1999 as I believe it trespasses unduly on personal rights...

Review of Privacy Act Released

Rt Hon Doug Graham MP, Minister of Justice, today tabled in Parliament the Privacy Commissioner's report on the review of the operation of the Privacy Act. The report is the first review since the Act came into force.

Mr Slane said the comprehensive review had concluded that the Privacy Act was soundly based and worked well in practice. However, 154 recommendations had been made to improve the Act's effectiveness and reduce compliance costs.

'I consider the Act is firmly on the ri...

Protecting Personal Information on Public Registers

People should be given the right to have their names deleted from direct marketing lists, Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane said today.

'We have a lot of complaints from people saying they have asked and asked to be taken off direct marketing lists, but it has not been done. While leading companies in the field will carry out these requests, others won't unless there is a law.'

Mr Slane said the report recommended that people should be able to require deletion of their names from s...

Warrants Proposed for Video Surveillance

Police should in future be required to obtain warrants for covert video surveillance, Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane said today.

Mr Slane said that under New Zealand law it was an offence to intercept a private conversation between two other people. But it is not an offence not to videotape them without recording the sound.

'A video is a specifically intrusive device because it not only captures things in a general way. It also captures a lot of detail. Very often it will includ...

UK Data Protection Registrar Letter to the Dominion

Letter to the Editor (The Dominion) by Elizabeth France, the Data Protection Registrar (Britain), published November 13, 1998


Sir

I have seen a copy of the letter from Lord Wakeham, Chairman of the UK Press Complaints Commission, which you published on November 7.

The use of the term 'privacy laws' has caused confusion. A factual statement of the position in the UK will make things clear. I am confident that Lord Wakeham could only have intended to refer to laws specif...

Lord Wakeham letter to the Dominion

Letter to the Editor (Dominion) from Lord Wakeham (Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, UK), published November 7, 1998.

Sir

On October 31 you reported some remarks I had made about privacy laws during a speech to the Commonwealth Press Union in Kuala Lumpur. My speech was wide-ranging, and in it I expressed my firm belief that privacy laws damage democracy and do not work.

In questions after the speech, I was asked what I thought about the privacy law in New Zeala...

Response to Lord Wakeham's comment on the New Zealand Privacy Act

If he has been correctly reported, Lord Wakeham appears to be quite extraordinarily ignorant about the matters of which he was speaking. The report filed by Richard Long has Lord Wakeham implying that he persuaded the British government to abandon plans to enact a privacy law for the UK.

The fact is that the Data Protection Act 1998 was passed into British law a few months ago. It substantially augments the privacy law which Britain has had since 1984 - nine years before New Zealand bro...

Response re NZMJ article

Response to enquiry from Dominion on NZMJ article 'Medico-Legal Aspects of Managing Deliberate Self-Harm in the Emergency Department'

In the article two practising psychiatrists say the Privacy Act makes it difficult for them to tell the mother of a 24-year old woman patient that she (the patient) has attempted suicide and may well do so again. As it happens they are quite wrong about the law, and ignore the possibility of being open and up-front with their patients.

The Privacy A...

Proposed Amendments to the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 2

Statement by Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner, April 1998

I have given notice of my intention to amend the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 by :

  • applying the code to some further agencies;
  • removing reference to certain abolished agencies;
  • discontinuing provision for the Director-General of Health to issue notices
  • permitting re-assignment of the NHI number but continuing the effect of notices previously given;
  • amending rule 11(1) in re...

Media Statement: Google's new privacy policies

'Google's aim of making their privacy policies simpler and clearer is a move in the right direction. We have encouraged Google to go down that track and have said how important it is for privacy policies to be readily understandable and as clear as possible. If these changes do that, then that is a good thing for Google users.

Google's plans for increased linkages in user identity data across Google products and services to provide a seamless user experience do raise concerns and it me...

Privacy and the proposed e-Govt scheme

Statement by Privacy Commissioner, Marie Shroff

The State Services Commission has today released the report of an independent privacy impact assessment on the proposed E-government identity authentication scheme. I welcome this development as demonstrating the Commission's commitment to openness and transparency in the development of this scheme.

Privacy Impact Assessment is a relatively new process being adopted increasingly by governments across the world to identify and add...