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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Consumers need reassurance over smart meter data collection

Electricity retailers and distributors can do more to reassure consumers that the information being collected by smart meters is being handled safely with a minimal risk of infringing individual privacy, says Privacy Commissioner John Edwards. In an open letter to electricity retailers and distributors this week, Mr Edwards made a number of recommendations to the industry bodies. Read more here.

Privacy Commissioner welcomes rethink of social service data collection

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomed the Government’s plans to rethink the practice of collecting individual client level data from social service providers. The Government announced last week social service contracts will no longer require providers to disclose individual client level data until a new data protection and use policy is in place. Read more here.

Employment and Privacy – our new online learning module

Employment and Privacy is our new free e-learning module. Our latest module is made up of eight units which will help employers and employees deal with privacy-related employment issues. They cover: assessing applicants; surveillance and monitoring of employees; social media technology; drug testing and biometrics; security of information; discussing information about staff; workplace disputes and ending employment. Find out how to do it here.

Learn about the Credit Report Privacy Code

Try our Introduction to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code e-learning module. The code deals with the information held by credit reporters and this module will teach you everything you need to know about privacy and credit reporting.

New privacy basics brochure

We have a new general privacy brochure. It is called Your personal information - Know your privacy rights. Get copies now and have some in your workplace. You can view and print off the brochure here or you can order copies by emailing us.

New case note: SIS and GCSB access requests:  section 32 responses 

A man requested his personal information from the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau. The agencies both declined his request, citing section 32 of the Privacy Act, and neither confirming nor denying the existence of his personal information. Read the case note here.




Should agencies leave no stone unturned?
Should agencies leave no stone unturned?
Author Charles Mabbett    Date published 10 May 2017

Organisations sometimes get it wrong when they respond to a person’s request for their personal information. Information is sometimes lost, displaced or accidentally deleted. A recent privacy case dealt with by the Human Rights Review Tribunal considers when an organisation can call it quits when it comes to searching for personal information in responding to an access request.

Read More


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