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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Law allows information sharing about children now

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says he supports the Government's message that any information about a current or future danger to a child needs to be shared between the appropriate agencies.

Mr Edwards says he would be very concerned if misperceptions about privacy laws are getting in the way of preventing harm to children and he will continue to educate agencies about the many layers of legal protection that allow for appropriate information sharing.  The Commissioner's media release can be found here.

New questions for AskUs

Can I publish a video of people suspected of shoplifting? Does it matter that I am breaching the privacy of a bully when I share bullying emails? Can the news media publish photos of car crash victims?

We're adding to our AskUs privacy knowledge base and these are some of the new questions we've tackled recently. If you have a question that has not been answered satisfactorily on AskUs, let us know in the feedback option. Try AskUs now.

Body-worn cameras in the public service

Prof William Webster will speak on the topic of Body-Worn Cameras and Public Services at our next Technology & Privacy Forum on 19 September 2016 in Wellington. The use of body-worn cameras is a recent phenomenon in public service environments and Prof Webster is an authority in this area. He is also the 2016 NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor based at the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington.

The forum is already full but we will be running a waiting list.  To RSVP go to If you are unable to get to the forum, we will be live streaming the event. You can view more information here.

Privacy in cyberspace webinar this month

The internet is a great resource for most organisations but it can contribute to privacy issues in the workplace. Two privacy experts - Julia Shallcrass of Workplace Training and Morgan Wilson of TechHappy - are giving a webinar on how to manage these issues by sharing best practices around passwords, privacy policies, screen recorders and more. The webinar is on Thursday, 15 September, and it's worth 1.5 CPD hours. It costs $200, excluding GST. Find out more here.

Asian Privacy Scholars Network conference reminder

The Asian Privacy Scholars Network 5th International Conference is coming to the University of Auckland on 13-14 December 2016. The conference theme is Global Privacy Standards: Evolution, Divergence and Surveillance. Speakers include the former Australian High Court Justice, Hon Michael Kirby, Privacy Commissioner John Edwards, Professor Graham Greenleaf, Associate Professor Gehan Gunasekera, Professor Paul Roth, as well as other leading privacy experts from Japan, China, India, South Korea and Europe. More information can be found here.

Our latest blog posts

To film or not to film
To film or not to film
Author John Edwards    Date published 24 August 2016

When you entrust your frail and vulnerable relative to the care of a  commercial enterprise, you are entitled to expect a high standard of care. What happens when you suspect that standard is not being met?

Read More
Can I make an anonymous privacy complaint?
Can I make an anonymous privacy complaint?
Author Riki Jamieson-Smyth    Date published 29 August 2016

People have been asking us recently: "If I make a complaint- can I stay anonymous? Can't the Privacy Commissioner step into my shoes and keep my identity secret and out of the action? Does the agency or person need to know I've complained about them at all?" The answer is that they probably do need to know who you are and exactly what you've complained about. The reason is natural justice. 

Read More
Facebook tightens its grip on WhatsApp
Facebook tightens its grip on WhatsApp
Author Colin Trotter    Date published 31 August 2016

The popular messaging app, WhatsApp, has recently updated its terms, conditions and privacy policy to reflect that it will share information about its one billion users with its parent company, Facebook.

Read More


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