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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Announcing PrivacyLive forums

Next month, we'll be launching the first in our new PrivacyLive series of lunchtime forums. The PrivacyLive forums will replace our Technology and Privacy Forums and are intended for a broader audience with an interest in privacy-related issues. The first speaker will be former Assistant Privacy Commissioner Katrine Evans who is now a Senior Associate at Hayman Lawyers. We hope to confirm details in our next Privacy News.

New case note: Student executive discloses letter about colleague's job performance

A university student union president complained to our Office after personal information in a written warning from the student executive was disclosed and published in a university student magazine. She said the disclosure of the warning letter by the vice president had caused her significant harm. Students sent her hate mail and previously healthy working relationships became strained. She suffered from anxiety, headaches and panic attacks. Read the case note here.

GOVIS Lunchtime Forums - Meet the CIOs

GOVIS is running a series of free lunchtime forums in the first quarter of 2017 called "Meet the CIOs". GOVIS is the network of technology and information professionals in New Zealand government. In this series, you will hear from information and technology leaders from across the public sector and find out how organisations are using technology and information to meet the needs of citizens and business. Speakers will include:

  • February - Tracy Voice, Director, Business Technology and Information Services, Ministry for Primary Industries
  • March - Chris Buxton, Chief Digital Officer, Statistics New Zealand
  • April - Stuart Wakefield, Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Education

For information on how to attend, visit

Finding out what an agency knows about you

Have you used our AboutMe online tool? Do you know about it? Last year, we created an easy way for you to ask for your information. We did it because it is your right, under the Privacy Act, to access personal information about you whether it is held by a business or by government. Curious? Find out more about AboutMe here.

Our latest blog posts: 


Data Safety Tips 1: Name your documents clearly
Data Safety Tips 1: Name your documents clearly
Author Neil Sanson    Date published 8 February 2017

It is so easy to send the wrong attachment with an email, especially if the documents you are selecting to attach are not clearly and distinctly named. We see this type of breach fairly regularly so we thought we’d highlight it in this post.

Read More
Beware the phishers
Beware the phishers
Author Charles Mabbett    Date published 9 February 2017

The salutation on the email simply said “Hi”. It arrived at 4.36am on a public holiday in the inbox of a public facing email address, and it appeared to have been sent from a personal email address belonging to the organisation’s chief executive.

Read More
Centrelink hits trouble with information matching
Centrelink hits trouble with information matching
Author Charles Mabbett    Date published 10 February 2017

The controversy embroiling Centrelink, the Australian government agency that provides welfare payments, shows no sign of abating as a public and political backlash continues over its apparent mishandling of a debt recovery programme.

Read More
How to say sorry
How to say sorry
Author Lynley Cahill    Date published 13 February 2017

Here at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, we have a statutory duty to use our best endeavours to resolve complaints. Many complaints are resolved when the respondent agency simply apologises to the complainant.

Read More


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