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Welcome to our fortnightly digest, Privacy News.

Privacy Commissioner welcomes new Privacy Bill

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has welcomed the introduction of a new Privacy Bill to maintain and further New Zealand’s strong track record of protecting the privacy interests of individuals.

Mr Edwards says privacy law reform is overdue and has become an increasingly urgent issue since the Law Commission made recommendations in 2011 on changes needed to the current 25-year-old Privacy Act. Read our media release here

Privacy Forum programme

Privacy Week (8-12 May) is less than two months away. The draft programme for the one-day Privacy Forum on 9 May is now on our website. There will be sessions on emerging privacy issues, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, mandatory data breach notification and others. Please note the programme will be subject to changes between now and then and we will be updating it. We will begin to take registrations soon. Find out more here about what’s planned.

Wanted: Assistant Commissioner (Policy and Operations)

The Assistant Commissioner (Policy and Operations) leads the largest group of staff in our close knit organisation. The role’s key purpose is to develop and lead high performing teams, lift capability, and enhance cohesion and effectiveness across the organisation. If you would like to know more about the role (and to apply), find out more here

Operation Painter: Findings in privacy investigation

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says a Police checkpoint in 2016 unlawfully and unfairly collected personal information, harming some of the people affected. 

The Commissioner initiated an investigation after the media reported on an incident where Police used a checkpoint to collect the personal information of people who had attended an Exit International meeting in October 2016. Our office later received complaints from individuals affected by the incident. Find out more here.  

Privacy at work web seminar

Recent privacy breaches in NZ have resulted in high damages. Avoid breaching the Privacy Act 1993 and protect business reputation by ensuring privacy in your organisation.

Employment and privacy lawyer Julia Shallcrass will be presenting a practical webinar on how to comply with privacy in the workplace. Improve the way you collect, use and store information relating to your customers, clients, job applicants and staff.

The webinar - Protect Privacy at Work 2018 - Clients and Staff - will be held on 27 March 2018 through CCH Learning. Details are available here

PrivacyLive forum on Trusted Data Use

Join us and learn about the Data Futures Partnership’s Guidelines for Trusted Data Use from one of its authors, Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, at our next PrivacyLive Forum in Auckland on 11 April 2018.

The Guidelines for Trusted Data Use were created for the Data Futures Partnership and they set out the key questions New Zealanders expect to be answered before they are comfortable sharing their personal information. 

Rhema is co-director and co-founder of the Centre for Social Data Analytics and a professor of health economics at Auckland University of Technology. She has a strong interest in implementing data-analytics solutions which address entrenched social problems, like child maltreatment and homelessness. 

This PrivacyLive Forum is on from 12.30pm-1.30pm on 11 April 2018 at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, Ellen Melville Centre, Freyberg Place, Auckland. It is free to attend. You can register here

Privacy Act fact

We’ll be highlighting the 25 year anniversary of the Privacy Act in each newsletter with a short fact about the Act’s significance and impact.

This issue’s fact: We’ve answered over 40,000 enquiries from members of the public in the past five years.

Technical problem and apology

Please note we have had a technical issue with subscriptions, resulting in unexpected delays in subscriptions being activated. These subscriptions have now been correctly activated.

If you are one of the subscribers who was affected, we sincerely apologise for the delay. If in the intervening time you have decided you no longer wish to receive Privacy News, you can unsubscribe at a link below in this newsletter.

Our latest blog posts: 

Welcoming the Privacy Bill
Welcoming the Privacy Bill
Author John Edwards    Date published 20 March 2018

We are very excited about today’s introduction of a new Privacy Bill. The Bill will modernise the 25 year old Privacy Act and implement many of the changes recommended by the Law Commission in 2011.

Read More


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