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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 1 - 20 of 319

Case Note 253397 [2017] NZ PrivCmr 2 - Student executive discloses letter about colleague's job performance

A university student union’s president (the complainant) was given a written warning for neglecting to meet a number of her job’s key performance indicators. The warning was delivered in a formal letter from the vice president on behalf of the student union executive.

Soon after, excerpts from the letter were published in a university magazine as part of a story about dysfunction in the student union.

The student union president wrote to complain to us about the magazine tha...

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

The Privacy Act gives people the right to see personal information that agencies hold about them. While this might appear straightforward, there are a number of circumstances where people and agencies disagree about what personal information the agency needs to disclose and what it can withhold.  

This was exemplified in a recent complaint to our office.

A medical doctor applied to a speciali...

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

Agencies that handle sensitive information need to have robust processes in place to ensure that information is handled properly. That’s what a GP’s office learned in a recent case we investigated.

A patient told their GP about being abused in the past. The GP referred the patient to counselling to help work through the issues stemming from that abuse.

The GP’s office followed up this re...

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

The process of collecting health information can affect both privacy and personal dignity. This is what spurred a man to complain to our office after he was asked for a urine test by his prospective employer.

The man had applied for a job that required employees to pass a drug test. The company outsourced its drug testing to a third-party specialist agency, which was charged with collecting samples and testing them for drugs.

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

We received a complaint from a man who said a bank’s efforts to recover a $70,000 overpayment to him breached his privacy.

The man, who was not a customer of the bank, received a large sum of money by bank transfer from his ex-wife as a result of a Family Court decision. But the bank overpaid the man by $70,000.

When the debt collection agency contacted the man to recover the debt, the man c...

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

A woman complained because her employer’s insurer wanted the names of all the employees, their ages and the length of time they had been employed there.

Even though she filled out the form sent to the school by the insurer, the woman complained to us because she did not believe the insurer needed to know that level of detail about individual employees.

The woman, who worked at a school in a...

Case Note 240409 [2016] NZ PrivCmr 2: Teenager accused of shoplifting, shamed on Facebook

A teenage girl was accused of shoplifting with a group of friends in a clothing shop. The shop manager used security camera footage to post photos of the group on the business’ Facebook page.

The father of the teenager complained to the shop about the photos which he said unfairly branded his daughter as a shoplifter. He said that his daughter was innocent and she had not been aware that two of the others in the group had take...

Case note 256329 [2016] NZ PrivCmr 1: Woman accused of dodgy trading by online forum

A woman was accused of being a ‘dodgy trader’ by an online community.  Her personal information, including her address, photos, bank account and cell phone numbers were all posted in a comments thread on the website. 

She told the website administrators that the information about her was wrong and asked for it to be immediately removed. The website’s administrators refused to remove the information.  They told the woman...

Case note 266148 [2015] NZ PrivCmr 10: Police refuse access to interview DVD

A tourist visited New Zealand on a holiday. During his holiday, he filed a police report alleging he had been robbed.

During the investigation, a constable interviewed the complainant. This interview was recorded with the complainant’s consent. As a result of that interview and other inquiries, Police determined that the complainant had not actually been robbed, but rather had made a false report in order to...

Case Note 269041 [2015] NZ PrivCmr 9: Man refused son's health information

The father of a seven year old boy at the centre of a custody battle with his former wife complained to us because he was refused copies of his son’s medical records.

The father requested the health records from his son’s doctor. The boy had been seeing the doctor for several years because he suffered from food allergies. The father said he had little confidence he was getting all the information he needed from his former wi...

Case note 264435 [2015] NZ PrivCmr 8: Immigration New Zealand (INZ) refuses to correct birth date

In 2011, the complainant moved to New Zealand from Ethiopia. He had been orphaned at a very young age and came to New Zealand as a refugee sponsored by his aunt.

Birth registration was not compulsory in Ethiopia when he was born, so there were no records of his date of birth. His aunt consulted with locals and estimated that he was born in early 2000. She used this date to apply for an Ethiopian passport and birth certificate on his behalf. She then used these documents to support his...