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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 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.
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.
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...
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,...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...
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...
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:
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 of the Privacy Act requires that personal inform...
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.
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...
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...
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....
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...