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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Urgent need for Privacy Act reform – Privacy Commissioner

Privacy law reform is urgently needed to prevent New Zealand falling further behind international standards, says Privacy Commissioner John Edwards in his Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Justice released last week.

Mr Edwards says most existing privacy laws around the world have been reformed in the last three years or are currently being reviewed and updated.

You can find our entire media release and the Privacy Commissioner's Briefing to the Incoming Minister here


Privacy Commissioner's 2017 Annual Report is now out

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner's Annual Report is now available. During the reporting year, we have seen two key trends: increasing demand from government and business to use personal information, and continued concern from the public to ensure this information is used appropriately, and kept safe.

Read our annual report to find out more about the year in privacy. You can find it on our website here


Pointers for security cameras and drones

Don't be creepy! Don't record activities that would otherwise be private. Don't point a security camera directly at a neighbour's property, doors or windows.

As the festive and holiday season fast approaches, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has produced a new guidance resource about security cameras and drones for home owners, recreational drone users and retailers.

Check out the guidance here. Copies can also be ordered by emailing us


Privacy Commissioner monitoring Uber data breach

The Privacy Commissioner is monitoring the news of Uber's data breach that affected more than 50 million people around the world, including some New Zealanders.

Uber formally informed the Commissioner's office last week. The breach happened in late 2016. Uber says the breach included the names, phone numbers and email addresses of Uber users in New Zealand, and it did not include credit card or bank account information.

Read our media release here


Cyber Smart Week

This week is Cyber Smart Week. It gives us all a chance to review and strengthen our cyber security measures. Remember to:

  • Change your password
  • Turn on two-factor authentification
  • Update your operating system
  • Check your privacy settings.

CERT NZ has produced a range of resources for you and your organisation to highlight being smart about cyber-security. You can find out more here


Making a trust mark for privacy

We have started receiving entries for our Privacy Trust Mark Design Competition! 

To recap, the Privacy Commissioner is looking for a trust mark design that is attractive and conveys a "privacy first" approach taken by a product or service. We're inviting student graphic designers and young artists to enter the competition to create an eye-catching logo to represent privacy-friendly goods and services – and we're offering $3,500 to the winning designer or artist.

The deadline for the Privacy Trust Mark Design Competition is 15 February. You can find more information here


Our encryption and law enforcement forum is filling up

We've only a few places left for our final PrivacyLive forum of 2017. If you haven't already booked your place, do so now to hear our discussion on encryption with a lively panel of informed speakers. Entitled Breaking the Code: Encryption and Law Enforcement, the discussion will focus on whether encryption is impeding law enforcement activities.

The panellists are:

  • Cheryl Gwyn (Inspector General of Intelligence & Security)
  • Dr Ryan Ko (Cyber Security Researchers of Waikato)
  • Thomas Beagle (NZ Council for Civil Liberties)
  • Ben Creet (Internet NZ)
  • Ian Welch (Victoria University)
  • John Wesley-Smith (Spark NZ)
  • Declan Ingram (CERT NZ)

This PrivacyLive event is in Wellington on 7 December 2017 beginning at 12.30pm. Our PrivacyLive events are free to attend. Register your attendance now to avoid disappointment.  

Our latest blog posts

Shaming and blaming
Shaming and blaming
Author Charles Mabbett    Date published 15 November 2017

Should a business use social media to shame scam artists, shoplifters or bad debtors? When someone feels ripped off, this appears a natural course of action but it is a risky path to go down. Our advice is if you believe you have evidence that a crime has been committed, contact Police.

Read More
What's your complaint worth?
What's your complaint worth?
Author Riki Jamieson-Smyth    Date published 15 November 2017

We often get asked about how much a complaint is “worth” in settlement terms, by both complainants and respondents. To be honest, very few of our complaints settle for money. The resolution is usually non-financial, like the release of information or a decent apology.

Read More
What we learned at NetHui
What we learned at NetHui
Author OPC staff    Date published 23 November 2017

NetHui, the website says, brings together everybody and anybody that wants to talk about the internet. It's not a conference and speakers don't talk at you all day. Instead, Internet NZ’s gathering of technologists, humanitarians, educationalists and philosophers is designed “for the community, by the community”.

Read More


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Office of the Privacy Commissioner
PO Box 10 094, Wellington 6143
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