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Latest in Media releases and statements

Displaying 241 - 260 of 282

Newborn Blood Spot Cards: Consent storage and use, a public consultation

Letter to Stephen McKernan, Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health regarding Newborn Blood Spot Cards: Consent storage and use, a public consultation.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the National Screening Unit's discussion document Newborn Blood Spot Cards: Consent Storage and Use, A Public Consultation.

The steps already taken, the discussion document and the consultation process make good progress in improving the overall state of the newborn blood spot ca...

Statement from Privacy Commissioner re Microchip SuperGold Card

A possible micro chipped SuperGold card has some far-reaching implications that need to be explored thoroughly before a final decision is made. I understand the government intends to do that.

Our office has contributed to the policy discussions and our consistent position has been that a comprehensive assessment of privacy impacts should be undertaken before decisions are made on whether to introduce smart card technology as part of the SuperGold card.

Micro chipped smart cards...

Privacy Commissioner considering amendments to Health Code

Media Release

5 April 2007

The Privacy Commissioner is seeking public submissions on proposed amendments to the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.

The code sets specific rules for health sector agencies to ensure the protection of individuals' personal information. In the health sector, the code takes the place of the Privacy Act's information privacy principles, and deals with information collected, used, held and disclosed by health agencies.

Kai Tiaki media release

Informed consent avoided privacy breaches

An investigation by the Privacy Commissioner has found that the Nurses' Organisation journal Kai Tiaki had fully informed consent to publish photographs in an essay on rest home carers looking after elderly people.

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said the elderly people concerned or their families had known the photographs were to be published in the journal, as part of a project to highlight the work of carers with elderly people...

Annual Report 2006 Media Release

Thursday 23 November 2006

Privacy Commissioner faces increasing challenges to privacy

Developments in technology and changes in business practice continue to pose new challenges to privacy, the Privacy Commissioner's Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today, shows.

“All kinds of organisations and businesses use advanced technology to collect, sort, store and trade our personal information, both to make our lives easier in dealing with them and al...

Privacy Commissioner welcomes proposed motor vehicle register changes

Media Release

7 August 2006

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff today welcomed the Government's announcement that it is looking to restrict access to the New Zealand Motor Vehicle Register.

Mrs Shroff said her Office has been concerned for some years that personal information on the register was too readily available, and could be used in ways that were never intended.

“For example, anyone can use information from the register for direct marketing, which some people f...

UMR 2006 survey media release

Public Opinion Survey shows deep concern about privacy.

Potential invasion of privacy, particularly by businesses, is a very serious concern for many New Zealanders, a public opinion survey commissioned by Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff shows.

The UMR Research telephone survey of 750 New Zealanders found that, in relation to the handling of information by businesses, 93 percent of people thought respect for and protection of personal information was important.


Declaration: Towards a universal right to data protection and privacy

The 27th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners adopted a final declaration aimed at strengthening the universal nature of data protection principles in the light of the challenges faced as a result of globalisation and the development of information technologies. Commissioners have agreed to work towards a recognition of the universal nature of data protection principles and to strengthen co-operation.

New credit reporting privacy code boosts NZers' rights

A new credit reporting privacy code will give New Zealanders free access to their own credit reports and strengthen their credit check rights, Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said today.

“Credit reporting raises many privacy issues,” she said. “It involves pooling financial and other data on individuals into huge databases that are accessed by thousands of people. Inaccuracies can really harm people.”

“The new Credit Reporting Privacy Code sets out to build greater transpar...

Guthrie Heel Prick report - media release

I conducted an inquiry into the collection, retention, use and release of newborn metabolic screening test samples, often referred to as the “Guthrie test”. A heel prick blood sample is taken from babies shortly after birth and the sample is tested for seven genetic metabolic disorders.

The samples and test results are stored at the National Testing Centre at Auckland Hospital.

Almost 100% of babies born in New Zealand are tested in this programme and the newborn screening sam...

Security of Patient Notes from Decommissioned Hospitals

I conducted inquiries into two incidents where patient information was discovered at disused hospital premises. One inquiry looked at the circumstances in which patient health information was left at the former premises of Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch. The second inquiry looked at the discovery of patient health information and staff personal information at the former premises of Rawhiti Trust Hospital in Auckland.

After looking into the two incidents, I am satisfied that they we...

Public Consultation on Proposed Credit Information Privacy Code

I have released a proposed Credit Information Privacy Code for public consultation. The proposed code follows a discussion with the industry over a long period. Submissions on the code are invited to be made to my office over the next two months - by 10 September 2003.

Credit reporting agencies play an important and legitimate function in consumer credit.

However, their activities also intrude into privacy and individuals can be harmed when things go wrong. The code places a speci...

Proposed Credit Information Privacy Code

I have given public notice of my intention to issue a code of practice applying to credit agencies in respect of their handling of credit information.

A copy of the proposed code is attached. Information to assist in public consultation is contained in the enclosed information paper and in explanatory notes appearing in italics in the proposed code. To obtain an electronic copy of the proposed code please visit our web site at www.privacy.org.nz - or telephone 0800 808 909 (or 302 8655...

Authentication of Identity for E-Government

Statement by Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane

An increasing range of government services are being provided over the Internet and some of these transactions will require a secure form of identity authentication. There are obvious risks to privacy if the government does not correctly identify the citizens with whom it is dealing.

Electronic identity authentication can take many forms and each involves some level of privacy risk. Towards one end of the spectrum there are tech...

Revised code of banking practice - draft - letter

Letter to the Hon Sir Ian Barker QC, Assessor by Blair Stewart, Assistant Commissioner

26 November 2001

Hon Sir Ian Barker QC
Code of Banking Practice Review
P O Box 268

Dear Sir Ian


I refer to Errol Lizamore's letter of 26 October 2001 enclosing a revised draft code for comment.

As the New Zealand Bankers' Association has generously allowed until 1 March 2002 for comment,...

Statement by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane re Carol Shaw

for the Dominion dated 21 December 2000:

Your report identifies the Privacy Act as a principal failure in the events which led to the death of Carol Shaw. Rather, the coroner has pointed to the need for there to be a general 'duty to warn' which is at present not the common or statute law in New Zealand. He takes it further by recommending that the Health Act be amended to require certain disclosures to be made automatically on the discharge of a patient. As the coroner...

Proposed Amendments to the Privacy Act - addressing question of adequacy under EU Data Protection Directive

On 12 December 2000 the Statutes Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament. It will amend the Privacy Act 1993 to secure a finding from the European Commission that New Zealand's law provides an 'adequate level of protection' for the purposes of article 25 of European Union Data Protection Directive.

The New Zealand Privacy Act is already well regarded as being the most comprehensive national privacy law outside Europe. However, in a detailed study report the Privacy Commissioner id...

Health Waikato Investigation

A complaint made against Health Waikato Ltd by a young Fijian student involving a breach of her privacy has now been settled, says Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane. The exact settlement figure is confidential but it will be sufficient to enable her to complete her education course in New Zealand.

The complaint involved allegations that sensitive health information about the young woman, in New Zealand on a student visa, had been disclosed to her family by a nurse who was also a distant...

Wanganui project statement

Statement for the Wanganui Chronicle - Simon Waters by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane

I will be watching the Wanganui project with interest.

There are a number of matters which need to be borne in mind in the installation and operation of closed circuit television cameras for population surveillance.

It is important that they are installed only in areas where there has been abnormal incidence of crime rather than merely erected 'to give people confidence'. The latte...

Deportation action by NZ Immigration Service

Media Statement

I have decided to open a Commissioner initiated investigation into the particular case which has become public in the last two days.

The investigation will be to establish whether there has been an interference with the privacy of the family concerned brought about by a failure to observe information privacy principle 8 which reads:

'An agency that holds information shall not use that information without taking such steps (if any) as are, in the...