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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 61 - 80 of 329

Case note 215508 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 5: Debt collection agency discloses information about a woman to a workmate

A debt collection agency had been attempting to contact a woman at her workplace.

When it was unable to speak to her, it left a message with a workmate asking for the woman to contact it and provided its name and contact number for this purpose.

This information was then put on a note and placed on a notice board where other staff members could read it.

The woman contacted the agency to raise concerns about the information it had disclosed to her workmate, but was unable to...

Case Note 218236 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 4: Man objects to pre-employment screening

A man applied for a job in a government department. As part of the application process the department used a company which specialised in pre-employment screening of potential employees.

The man was unsuccessful in his application, and made a request under principle 6 of the Privacy Act for the personal information held by the government agency in relation to his application.

Some information was provided, but some was withheld under section 29(1)(b) of the Privacy Act.


Case Note 221624 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 3: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry discloses name of man in context of criminal proceedings

A man complained that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry ('MAF') disclosed information about him to another person. The man considered that the information should have been anonymised.

Principle 11

Principle 11 of the Privacy Act states that an agency that holds personal information must not disclose the information unless the agency believes on reasonable grounds that one of the exceptions in principle 11 applies in the circumstances.

MAF was investig...

Case Note 221786 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 2: Bar scans and retains a copy of patron's driver's licence

A man visited a bar where he was asked by the doorman to produce identification. He produced his driver's licence which was scanned into a black box by the doorman before being returned to him. The man believed the box took a photo of his licence and recorded information about him.

The man complained to us that he had not consented to the scanning and storing of his licence. He also expressed concerns over who would be able to view the scanned information from his licence.

The bar...

Case Note 219105 [2011] NZ Priv Cmr 1: Woman complains about debt collection company contacting her workplace

A woman complained to our Office about a debt collection company contacting her place of work.

She advised that the debt collection company had called her workplace hoping to talk to her. When her manager informed the debt collector that she was unable to take the call, the caller informed the manager of its name and number and gave her the woman's reference number and asked the manager to pass on the message.

The complainant advised that news that a debt collector had been trying...

Case Note 219773 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 25 : An individual requests personal information from the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

A man made a request to the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service ('the Service') under principle 6 of the Privacy Act for a copy of information held by the Service about him. The Service responded to the man's request by neither confirming nor denying that it held information about the man, and therefore relying on section 32 of the Privacy Act.

Principle 6 of the Privacy Act provides that where any agency holds personal information in such a way that it can be readily retrieved,...

Case Note 210870 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 24 : Medical centre fails to establish identity of requester and discloses health information about a patient to their former partner

A man, M, who was involved in legal proceedings with his former partner, X, was a patient of a medical centre. The medical centre previously provided medical care to M and his family when he and X were still together.

X visited the medical centre with her new partner, N, and they requested historical information about the family and, in particular, an incident which involved one of the children a number of years before.

The medical centre assumed that N was M and so released a...

Case Note 217784 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 23 : Woman complains that her landlord disclosed information about her to her flatmates

A woman complained that her landlord had disclosed health information about her to her flatmates.

The woman was one of three flatmates who had entered into a fixed term tenancy with the landlord. The woman became mentally unwell, and wanted to terminate her tenancy. Her psychologist wrote a letter to the landlord, supporting the woman's request that she be released from the tenancy on the basis that her mental health would decline further if she remained in the flat.

The landl...

Case Note 211497 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 22 : Complainant requests information provided to real estate agency by referees

The complainant applied to rent a house through a real estate agency. As part of that process the agency conducted a credit check and obtained references from the complainant's referees. The rental application was subsequently declined.
The complainant asked to see all the information the real estate agency held. No information was provided.

We contacted the real estate agency and it advised us that the only information it held was a credit check and the complainant's application f...

Case Note 209742 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 21: Councils not permitted to charge lawyers for providing rates information

A number of lawyers complained to us about local councils charging a fee upon a request for rates information on behalf of clients.

A lawyer acting for a property vendor requires rating information from councils to reconcile outstanding rates at the date of settlement for the sale of a property. The councils charged the lawyers a fee for providing this information.

The lawyers complained that as they were requesting personal information about their clients, councils should not...

Case Note 211597 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 20: Client requests information about her supervised access visits with her children

The Family Court ordered that a woman's visits with her children should be supervised through an approved supervised access service.

After some months the woman asked the supervised access service to provide a report of her visits with her children that included the staff's observations about her interaction with her children.

The supervised access service refused the woman's request, saying that it was the centre's policy to provide a report about supervised access visits onl...

Case Note 202975 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 19: Man seeks information from Police

The complainant made a request to the Police for the personal information they held about him in relation to an incident in which Police had been involved. This incident related to immigration charges that had been laid against the complainant by the Department of Labour. He specifically requested information about whether he had been under surveillance by Police prior to the incident. The Police provided him with a copy of the information about him that was held electronically on the Nationa...

Case Note 207201 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 18: Family Court most appropriate forum to deal with allegation of inappropriate disclosure

A lawyer for the child was appointed for the purposes of a Family Court matter concerning a man and his former partner. By coincidence the lawyer was also appointed lawyer for the child in separate Family Court proceedings involving the man's girlfriend.

The man considered that the lawyer had disclosed his personal information to his girlfriend's former partner and his lawyer during the other Family Court proceedings.

The man had complained about these actions to the Judges pr...

Case Note 218337 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 17: Customer's booking information disclosed on company website

A customer purchased travel related services from a company. The company sent him an email with a link to his booking details on its website. The customer noticed that the website url link ended with his booking number. He observed that by changing the booking number, he could view booking details for other customers. He realised that other individuals would also be able to view his booking information.

The booking details included personal information about customers like:


Case Note 211294 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 16: Man has to supply details of pending criminal charges pre-employment

A man wanted to apply for a job at an educational institution. As part of this process he was required to fill out an application form. One of the questions in the application form asked the man to list any criminal convictions and whether he had any criminal charges pending. The man did not consider that information about pending criminal charges was necessary for the recruitment process.

Principle 1

Principle 1 of the Privacy Act requires that personal inform...

Case Note 209484 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 15: Police disclose recognisable image of crime victim to media

A man ('the victim') worked at the front counter of a finance company which was robbed at gun point. The finance company provided CCTV footage of the robbery to the Police. The Police took a series of still photographs from the footage and disclosed these to the media to assist in apprehending the offender. However, the victim was clearly visible in one of the photographs. This photograph was published by a number of news agencies, both in print and on the internet.


Case Note 210106 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 14: Woman seeks access from former employer to content of verbal reference

The complainant applied for a job, and gave permission for her former manager to be contacted for a reference. She did not get the job, and believed that this was because her former manager had given a negative reference. She asked her former manager for details of the reference but they refused, saying that it had been a verbal reference, and nothing had been written down.

Under principle 6 of the Privacy Act individuals are entitled to have access to personal information that...

Case Note 209903 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 13: Man complained that Trade Me required his firearms licence number

A man complained that when he placed a bid on an auction for a firearm on the Trade Me website he was required to enter his firearms licence number. He considered that it was unnecessary to provide this personal information to Trade Me and he was concerned about what would be done with it.

Collection of personal information

Principle 1 of the Privacy Act provides that an agency must not collect personal information unless it is collected for a lawful pur...

Case Note 208123 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 12: Woman wants to know names of Police officers who accessed her records

A woman wrote to the Police and requested the names of Police employees who had accessed her file over the past five years. The woman also requested the dates and times when her file had been accessed. The woman had concerns that particular officers may have accessed her information inappropriately.

The Police told the woman the number of employees who had accessed her file but refused to provide the names of employees, or dates and times, under grounds in the Official Information Act....

Case Note 212548 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 11: Woman requests copy of responses she gave in a phone survey

A woman requested a copy of the responses she had given to a market research company as part of a phone survey.

The research company provided her with a copy of the factual responses she had given, including her age, gender, and location. However, it refused to provide her with a copy of the remainder of her responses on the basis that the opinions she had given were not personal information about her.

The woman made a complaint to our Office that the company had refused to pro...