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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Case note: CYF wrongly noted father had sexual abuse convictions

A man complained to the Privacy Commissioner that Child Youth and Family (CYF) records incorrectly showed he had been jailed for sexual offending, and this information had never been corrected on his file.

The Commissioner formed the view MSD had interfered with the man's privacy under principles 7 and 8 of the Privacy Act. The man's complaint has been referred to the Director of Human Rights Proceedings for the case to be considered before the Human Rights Review Tribunal. 

Read our case note here.

Change of venue for PrivacyLive forum

Former Assistant Privacy Commissioner Katrine Evans will be exploring some recent developments in how we define personal information when we kick off our PrivacyLive speaker series next week.

Katrine, who joined Hayman Lawyers in 2015, notes the definition of personal information keeps expanding. Is browser-generated information personal information? What about metadata produced as part of other digital services? What about anonymised datasets? Is a residential address published online without a name personal information?

This PrivacyLive lunchtime forum is on Wednesday 29 March 2017 from 12pm to 1pm.

Please note the venue for this event has changed. The forum will now be held at IntenetNZ's Wellington office: Level 11, 80 Boulcott St. Katrine's presentation will also be streamed on Periscope. Seating is limited. Please RSVP to attend by emailing

Privacy Week is coming

What is your organisation doing for Privacy Week? This year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner is marking Privacy Week from 8-12 May and we want to hear from you if your workplace is planning activities which highlight good privacy practices and awareness.

We're organising an extensive programme of events for people and resources for agencies. We hope to be able to tell you more about Privacy Week in the next Privacy News. In the meantime, check out our Privacy Week page.

Professionalism praised

The Privacy Commissioner recently received an email from Glenn Marshall, the father of a 14-year-old boy, Eamon Marshall, who is profoundly physically and mentally disabled, and completely non-verbal. Glenn wanted the efforts of our staff publicly acknowledged.

Glenn said: "I’d like to express my deep appreciation for the professionalism and dedication provided by [your staff]  and would appreciate you acknowledging their efforts .… we are deeply grateful that due to their intervention and persistence we were finally able to receive many of the documents that were not initially provided ...

"The reason I state this is because, with profoundly disabled people, sometimes members of our society lose sight of the fact that they are still human beings that are entitled to dignity and respect, and that they still have equal rights. By using the name Eamon Marshall rather than a pseudonym or young man, it reinforces that behind this story there was a real person. In summary, Eamon has no voice. The actions of your investigator provided Eamon with a voice.

"Never underestimate the power that your office has to make a profound difference."

We are pleased to honour Glenn and Eamon's wishes in this Privacy News.


Me and AboutMe
Me and AboutMe
Author Nicole Walker    Date published 17 March 2017

I recently received a bill from a local authority relating to work carried out on my property before I bought it. I was not responsible for the bill and I had challenged it successfully on three previous occasions. But it kept coming back. 

Read More
Breach Cases 2: Don't bite when a phisher calls
Breach Cases 2: Don't bite when a phisher calls
Author Neil Sanson    Date published 20 March 2017

A recent data breach involved a deliberate email phishing* attack on an industry organisation. The email purported to come from the chief executive and requested a copy of the membership list (names and email addresses).

Read More

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