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Latest in Case notes and court decisions

Displaying 81 - 100 of 330

Case Note 211183 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 10: Ministry of Social Development discloses information to the Official Assignee

The man who raised concerns in this case had been admitted to the No Asset Procedure ('the NAP') by the Official Assignee. As part of this process the man's creditors were notified that he had been admitted to the NAP, and were given a chance to object.

In this case the Ministry of Social Development ('the Ministry') was one of the man's creditors. After the Ministry was notified that the man had been admitted to the NAP, it provided personal information to the Official Assignee object...

Case Note 211715 [2010] NZPrivCmr 9: Employer posts information about former employee on website

A woman resigned from her job and took a personal grievance against her former employer. The former employer posted on its website a copy of the personal grievance the woman had filed in the Employment Relations Authority. The former employer also posted a number of other statements from other employees rebutting the content of the personal grievance.

The woman complained to us about these actions. She said that she was having difficulty finding a new job, and she believed that this wa...

Case Note 212156 [2010] NZPrivCmr 8: Personal information on internet was publicly available

A polytechnic course that taught English gave students a paper which contained a photograph of a woman with lines of text beneath. The text consisted of basic sentences such as: 'My name is .. and I live in ......'. Students were asked to copy the text as part of their lessons.

The woman whose photograph appears on the paper complained that she did not consent to her photo being used by the polytechnic. The woman contacted the polytechnic. It apologised for using her image without cons...

Case Note 203097 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 7 : Guarantor is entitled to access loan information of borrower

A man took out a loan with a finance company. His mother agreed to be guarantor for the loan.

Due to ill-health, the man was finding it difficult to meet weekly repayments on the loan and fell into arrears. He contacted the finance company and explained the delay in payment was due to the state of his health and a new repayment schedule was organised. However, over the following months the man was unable to keep up with repayments and the finance company contemplated enforcing its righ...

Case Note 200062 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 6 : Woman complains about mobile phone company taking a photocopy of her driver's licence

A woman had a contract with a mobile phone company, and required a new mobile phone. She told us that when she went to purchase a new mobile phone the employee of the company took a photocopy of her driver's licence. She had asked why this was required, and was told it was ‘for security reasons'. The woman complained to us about what she saw as the unnecessary collection of personal information about her, namely her driver's licence.

We notified the mobile phone company that the compl...

Case Note 210778 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 5 : Woman complains about Council refusing her request for an email

A woman requested a copy of an email about her which had been sent by Council senior management to staff. The Council refused the request on the basis that the email could not be found.

The woman made a complaint to our Office that the Council had refused her request.

Principle 6

Under principle 6 individuals have a right to request access to personal information held about them by an agency.

An agency cannot refuse a principle 6 request unless it...

Case Note 202956 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 4: Woman complains about disclosure of transcript of meeting

A woman told us she had been the victim of bullying by a colleague. Her employer had held a meeting with her to discuss her allegations of bullying. The meeting was recorded, and a verbatim transcript produced. The employer subsequently provided a full copy of the transcript to the alleged bully. The woman considered this to be an interference with her privacy.

The employer acknowledged that it had given the full transcript to the alleged bully, but believed it had a proper basis to do...

Case Note 210300 [2010] NZPrivCmr 3: Private Investigator uses credit reporter to carry out initial witness search

A man applied to a credit reporter for a copy of his credit report. Upon receiving the report, he was shocked to find an enquiry on it from a private investigation firm.

The man was not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint to the credit reporter, and complained to our Office. In particular, the man complained that the private investigator had not provided the credit reporter with any evidence to support its reasons for accessing his credit report.


Case Note 211472 [2010] NZPrivCmr 2: Woman's health information released by District Health Board to Ministry of Health

A woman complained that a District Health Board had provided her anonymised health information to the Ministry of Health as part of statistical information concerning serious and sentinel events within the DHB.

The information was published by the Ministry of Health and resulted in the woman's anonymised health information being published in a local newspaper. The woman considered that the information released by the DHB enabled her to be identified.

Rule 11 <...

Case Note 205558 [2010] NZPrivCmr 1: Debt collector fails to follow procedure and loads disputed debt with credit reporter

A woman incurred a small debt which was transferred to a debt collector due to her failure to pay it by a certain time. The woman contacted the debt collector and advised it that she disputed the debt. Ten days later, the debt collector transferred the debt to a credit reporter, who then loaded it as a default on the woman's credit report.

The woman ultimately paid the debt but she was not happy that her disputed debt had been transferred to a credit reporter.


Case Note 209438 [2009] NZPrivCmr 20: Estate for deceased doctor fails to transfer files

Following the death of a general practitioner, the medical files of his patients went into storage along with the rest of his professional and personal belongings.

A number of the deceased doctor's patients went to a new practice nearby. The new practice contacted the spokesperson for the deceased doctor's estate and requested that he send through the files of these patients under section 22F of the Health Act.

The spokesperson for the estate advised that, as no executor had be...

Case Note 210634 [2009] NZPrivCmr 19: Date of birth displayed on secondhand dealers' licences

A man complained to us that Secondhand Dealers' licences contain the holder's date of birth. These licences must be displayed to the public. The man was concerned that publicly displaying the date of birth could create a risk of identity theft, and also that a date of birth is a personal matter.

We raised the issue with the Ministry of Justice.

Section 8 of the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2004 ('the Act') provides that an application for a Secondhand Dealer's Licence...

Case Note 202115 [2009] NZPrivCmr 18: Man complains about estranged family member unlawfully accessing IRD file

A man became estranged from his sister and, ultimately, found himself in a financial dispute with her. The sister worked for IRD. During the financial dispute, it became apparent to the man that his sister was accessing his IRD files. The man told IRD of his concerns and IRD agreed to investigate them.

Some time later, the man's concerns were confirmed and he again brought this to IRD's attention. The man made a complaint to us about the fact that IRD had let his sister access his fil...

Case Note 211257 [2009] NZPrivCmr 16: Several people complain that a government department lost their personal information

In 2008 a staff member from a government department dropped a file in an Auckland street. The file contained a list with personal information about a large number of individuals.

The information was subsequently passed to media outlets.

The department followed the Privacy Breach Notification Guidelines responding to the incident. They informed the Privacy Commissioner's Office and all individuals affected about what had happened. Some of those individuals then complained to the...

Case Note 207459 [2009] NZPrivCmr 17: Woman's request for information from insurance company refused

A woman made a request for a copy of a report prepared by a private investigator for her insurance company. The report related to an investigation being undertaken by the insurance company into alleged insurance fraud involving her insurance claim. The insurance company refused to provide the woman with a full copy of the report. The woman subsequently made a request to the insurance company for all of the personal information held by it about her and her husband.

Principle 6

Case Note 206924 [2009] NZPrivCmr 15: Man urgently requests personal information from the Police

A Police employee applied for a promotion but was unsuccessful. The Police have an internal review process that unsuccessful applicants can elect to take, and the employee wanted to do so. Applicants have to request a review within 10 days.

To support his request for review, the man made an urgent request to the Police for personal information relating to his application and interview. In particular he wanted access to notes made by the short-listing panel.

There were no notes...

Case Note 204595 [2009] NZPrivCmr 14: Commissioner sets charge for providing information

A couple approached their accountant and requested copies of their personal information. Some of the information held by the accountant also related to a company run by the couple.

The accountant refused to provide any information as the couple allegedly owed him money for services provided. He said he would not provide any information until the couple had paid the debt.

The couple complained to us that the accountant's actions were a breach of principle 6 of the Privacy Act. <...

Case Note 204040 [2009] NZPriv Cmr 13 : Health centre used photographs in promotional material

A health centre was conducting a health promotion campaign. It asked one of its employees whether it could take photographs of her and her daughter to use in the campaign. After the photographs were taken, the woman told the health centre that she did not want it to use any of the photographs of her. However, she was willing for the health centre to use her daughter's photograph on a poster for a year.

Several years later, the health centre used the daughter's photograph on an invitati...

Case Note 203856 [2009] NZPrivCmr 12 : Bank teller improperly accesses customer account information

A bank discovered that a teller had accessed a couple's joint bank account without authorisation 58 times over two months. The teller also disclosed information about their accounts to a third party, a former partner of one of the couple.

The bank contacted the couple to let them know what had happened. It set up a meeting between the couple and an area manager to discuss the situation and appropriate compensation. However, the bank and the couple were unable to settle the matter.