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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Season's greetings!

Season's greetings from the Privacy Commissioner

From the Office of the Privacy Commissioner


Taking care this summer with 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. This summer think of your neighbours and other members of the public when using drones and security cameras.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has produced a new guidance resource about using drone or security cameras for home owners, recreationalists and retailers.

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


Case notes:

Couple says they were wrongly billed for childcare

A couple with young children complained to us after a childcare centre referred a debt to a collection agency, raising issues about the accuracy of the debt information. They had withdrawn their two young children from the centre because they had concerns about the way the centre was being run. They said it had not addressed a number of health and safety issues that they had pointed out. Read the case note here.


Man complains about Automobile Association card information sharing

A man complained that his new AA card was configured so that his personal information would be shared with a supermarket chain.  He did not want his details automatically disclosed to a third party and made a complaint to us.  Read the case note here.


Academic denied request for 12,000 work emails

An academic, who was dismissed from his university position, requested all his work emails from a 12 month period of employment. He asked to be given a computer hard drive of all the emails. The university refused the request, saying the 12,000 emails were the property of the university. The academic complained to our office. Read our case note here.


Watch our encryption and law enforcement forum

If you missed our last PrivacyLive forum for 2017 on 7 December, you may be pleased to know that it is available for viewing on our YouTube channel. If you are interested in encryption, privacy and law enforcement, watch our lively panel of informed speakers.

The speakers included 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) and Declan Ingram (CERT NZ).

The Breaking the Code: Encryption and Law Enforcement forum can be viewed here (part one) and here (part two). 


Office closure over the Christmas period

Our Office will be closing from Friday 22 December, and reopening on Monday, 8 January 2018. In the meantime, if you have a privacy-related query, try our AskUs search tool


Our latest blog posts  

Algorithmic transparency: what happens when the computer says “no”?
Algorithmic transparency: what happens when the computer says “no”?
Author Vanessa Blackwood    Date published 29 November 2017

At Nethui, I was delighted to hear the Minister for Government Digital Services, Hon Clare Curran, bring up algorithmic transparency as a concept that needs further exploration. It was a statement that prompted the following speaker, Jillian C. York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to express happy surprise - that a government minister would publicly acknowledge the importance of algorithmic transparency.

Read More
Breach Case 6: Reusing and recycling
Breach Case 6: Reusing and recycling
Author Neil Sanson    Date published 29 November 2017

A recent data breach incident gave us an example of how trying to be careful in one respect can lead to unintended bad consequences in other ways.

Read More
Using the Privacy Act for Māori
Using the Privacy Act for Māori
Author Nicola Clark    Date published 12 December 2017

Me ōpanga rawa e aro ai te tangata, Ki te tai tama Māori e ((Must he be an All Black before you notice, This young Māori man) - Corin Merrick, Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa Hui-a-Tau 2017.

Read More


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Office of the Privacy Commissioner
PO Box 10 094, Wellington 6143
Enquiries Line 0800 803 909
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