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Source: Privacy Commissioner

Four independent privacy research projects will receive grants from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s (OPC) second round of the Privacy Good Research Fund.

The fund was first launched in June 2015 to generate new knowledge in the areas of privacy and data protection and to encourage research projects that raise public privacy awareness.   

This year, OPC had $75,000 on offer with up to $25,000 available for any single project. Application closed in September. We received 21 applications from New Zealand and abroad and notified the successful in mid-October.

“I was delighted by the quality and range of research applications we received,” Mr Edwards said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what each team will deliver with help from the privacy good research fund.”

 The successful applications include:

  • An exploration of the ways design influences tech user’s privacy choices
  • An investigation into how Dunedin Study participants feel about their information being shared
  • An examination of New Zealanders attitudes to having smart speakers at home
  • A look into whether New Zealand should adopt a law requiring information held in the cloud about individuals to be handed over for criminal investigations.  

The fund was made possible thanks to generous support from from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Legacy Fund and New Zealand’s Social Investment Agency (SIA).

Each of the four teams will complete their projects in mid-2020 and take part in an OPC symposium late next year where they present their findings.

The 2019 recipients are as follows:


Project title


Funding (GST exclusive)

University of Otago (Dept of Psychology)

Understanding the privacy concerns of participants in longitudinal studies.

This project investigates attitudes to data sharing by interviewing participants from the world-famous longitudinal project, the Dunedin Study.


Victoria University of Wellington (Dr Cherie Lacey)

Deceived by Design: The Influence of Dark Patterns on Privacy in New Zealand.

Dark patterns in digital technology aim to manipulate users into taking actions they wouldn’t otherwise take. This project aims to understand dark patterns and generate insights into their use to support future regulatory frameworks.


Massey University (Erica Pearson)

New Zealand Privacy Concerns Around Domestic Internet of Things (IOT).

This research project aims to assess both the privacy concerns and the privacy behaviours of NZ users of smart speakers.

$23, 838

Tim Cochrane

Extra-territorial Production Orders: Should New Zealand Adopt the US CLOUD Act?

Production orders require disclosure of information to government agencies for use in criminal investigations. They are often served on tech companies as they hold significant personal data.  This research will assess how NZ should regulate extraterritorial production orders, given NZ law.



$77, 299

You can read more about the PGRF here.

For further information, contact Feilidh Dwyer 021 959 050