The current Data Privacy Act in New Zealand allows for personal information to be shared by the New Zealand government. Information about you such as your name, address, contact details and other personal information is kept on a central database that is accessible to any member of the public. The NZ Privacy Act states that the information is kept confidential and if a request is made by the public or an individual for the disclosure of this information they are obliged to do so. The Information Commissioner’s Office keeps the records updated for a period of 6 years, after which the information will be destroyed.
The Privacy Act was introduced to protect New Zealanders from unwanted and intrusive personal information. The main purpose of the law is to ensure that the general public have access to the correct information. This information can help to identify the people behind internet scams and identity theft.
In most cases people have no idea that their personal and private records are available for public scrutiny. The Information Commissioner’s Office ensures that the public has the right to see the records held in the central database and they may do so through Freedom of Information requests.
The New Zealand Privacy Act is one of the strictest in the world, with all types of personal information being protected. If an individual believes their privacy rights have been violated, they must make a complaint to the Information commissioner’s Office, who will investigate the matter and determine whether or not the complaint has merit.
If personal information is obtained from the public in some way without their consent then they may be entitled to compensation. An individual may also make an application to the High Court to obtain compensation if their privacy rights have been violated.
The Privacy Act states that every person who is a citizen of New Zealand has the right to privacy in respect of their personal information. It is also legal for organisations to use personal information for purposes other than those specified under the Privacy Act, so long as this is done within the law and not in breach of the rights of the individual.
Individuals are responsible for keeping their personal information secure and should protect this information from unauthorized access. By using passwords and PINs, they ensure that their personal information is not compromised. Other methods of protecting your identity include using a credit card or debit card, using two-factor authentication, encryption and keeping copies of your credit card and bank statements.
If your personal information becomes compromised then you need to notify the NZ Privacy Commission in writing. They will investigate your complaint and make recommendations regarding the matter. You may also ask to have your name removed from the database if the problem persists, but if this is not successful then you have the right to sue the organisation in the High Court.
If you feel that your personal information may have been compromised in New Zealand, there are steps that you can take to rectify the problem. You may have breached the law by accessing the information without authorization, and this may have resulted in your identity being revealed to another person or organisation.
There are also legal alternatives that you may be able to pursue in order to prevent your personal information from being exposed to unauthorized people and organisations. These legal avenues include making a Privacy Rights Declaration, hiring a specialist to help you obtain a Privacy Act claim, and filing a claim. with the Privacy Commission and pursuing the matter through the court system.
There are many other legal options that you may wish to explore in regard to your privacy in New Zealand, and your personal information. Should you be unsure of how to proceed then you may wish to consult an experienced solicitor in the area.
New Zealand has some of the most comprehensive privacy laws in the world. In this modern age it is vital that you have these laws at your disposal.