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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Due to technical issues with our last newsletter, some subscribers would have received mutiple copies and some subscribers none.  We apologise for any inconvenience.

Trade Me leads NZ transparency reporting – Privacy Commissioner 

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has welcomed Trade Me’s latest transparency report. It is Trade Me’s fourth report cataloguing government agency requests for customer information. In its report, Trade Me also noted the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has been active in encouraging transparency reporting. “I congratulate Trade Me on the report and the leadership role that Trade Me plays for transparency in New Zealand. We hope that our work and Trade Me’s example will encourage more New Zealand companies to explore their own transparency reporting,” Mr Edwards said. More information can be found here.

Immigration NZ settles ‘wrong birth date’ case

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and the Director of Human Rights Proceedings have settled the case of a young Ethiopian man who immigrated to New Zealand in 2011. Based on inexact information about his birth date, the young man had asked INZ to correct it on two occasions. The agency had rejected his requests but it has recently acknowledged it breached principle 7 of the Privacy Act. The settlement is confidential. INZ has confirmed it is working on a policy for dealing with requests for personal information.  Read our blog

Electronic health records for all New Zealanders

The Ministry of Health recently announced its electronic health record strategy. The strategy aims for all New Zealanders to have an electronic health record by 2020. iappANZ is holding a half-day forum on 8 August for leaders in health, privacy and health technology, and patient advocacy. The An Electronic Health Record For Every New Zealander by 2020 - What Does This Really Mean Forum will be held in Wellington with a live video link to Auckland. Speakers include the Director General of Health, Chai Chuah, New Zaland Medical Association Chair, Dr Stephen Child, and OPC Senior Policy Adviser Sebastian Morgan-Lynch. It is free for iappANZ members ($99 for non-members). Register for Wellington here and for Auckland here.

Open Source, Open Society Conference

The Open Source, Open Society conference (OS//OS) will be held on 22-23 August 2016 at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. The organisers are promising two days of inspiration, professional development and connecting. Learn how technology and open ways of working can transform your work, your organisation and our society. There will be over 400 practitioners and innovators from across the business, government and technology sectors to connect and learn with.  Tickets are now available from the society.  


Asian Privacy Scholars Network conference in Auckland

The Asian Privacy Scholars Network 5th International Conference will be held at 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 judge, 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.

There will be sessions on privacy law in China and Japan, as well as other topics including technology and surveillance and emerging challenges to privacy protection. More information can be found here.


Read our new case notes

We’ve prepared five new case notes from our complaints and investigations work. We hope they help illustrate some of the types of complaints we receive and how we work to resolve them.

Case note 274973 [2016] NZ PrivCmr 7: Woman complains after employer's insurer asks for her age

Case note 274491 [2016] NZ PrivCmr 8: Man says bank unfairly disclosed his name to debt collector

Case note 275234 [2016] NZ PrivCmr 9: Man objects to urine test process

Case note 270745 [2016] NZ PrivCmr 10: Medical centre changes processes after sensitive disclosure

Case note 274816 [2016] NZ PrivCmr 11: Man seeks information from application process


Our latest blog posts

Pokémon a gogo
Pokémon a gogo
Author Charles Mabbett    Date published 13 July 2016

Why was the SIS agent playing Pokémon Go? Because he wanted to Pikachu. Joking aside, the Pokémon Go app is proving to be an incredible phenomenon driven by children and adults alike. But it hasn’t taken long for claims the app was also dangerous because of the amount of personal information it sought access to when users installed it on their smartphones.

Read More
Data breach lessons for website owners
Data breach lessons for website owners
Author Neil Sanson    Date published 20 July 2016

Online client portals can be great for customer service. They can be constantly updated, improved and extended. This flexibility is delivered by a complex collection of software and, unfortunately, complexity easily gives rise to difficulties. The impact of these difficulties can, however, be minimised if you take steps to avoid problems occurring, or respond quickly to them.

Read More


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