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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

Welcome to our latest round-up of privacy news stories for the week.

Privacy Commissioner launches fresh probe into leak of Covid-19 details

The Privacy Commissioner has launched an inquiry into how the Ministry of Health distributes Covid-19 patients’ information. The move comes after an investigation into the leak of active patient details to media last month by National MP Hamish Walker. Read more here.

Privacy breaches at Immigration NZ raise questions about safeguards

A couple who received an email from Immigration NZ intended for someone else say the breach shows safeguards around personal information are not adequate. Immigration staff breached privacy 170 times in the last year. The organisation has apologised in a statement, noting that they process more than a million visas a year. Read more here.

More than 800 marriage celebrants’ privacy breached

The Department of Internal Affairs has revealed that 849 marriage celebrants who asked for their addresses to remain private have had their details mistakenly published on the data.govt.nz website and a third-party website. The Department is continuing to investigate the breach. Read more here.

CovidCard bluetooth device to be trialled in Rotorua

A bluetooth device developed to help trace close contacts of people with Covid-19 is to be tested in a trial involving up to 300 people in Rotorua. The Rotorua trial will help the Government understand how the cards could work in a real-world scenario, including whether people will accept and use the cards. Read more here.

MPs told to delete TikTok over security concerns

New Zealand MPs and parliamentary staffers have been advised to delete social media app TikTok over security concerns. The parliamentary cybersecurity team has advised staffers and MPs that TikTok poses “significant privacy and security risks” and strongly recommends anyone who uses the app to delete it. Read more here.

Why New Zealand could be a global cyber security haven

Security experts say New Zealand is a trusted nation when it comes to cyber security, but it is still not taken seriously enough. Professor Hossein Sarrafzadeh, from New York’s St Bonaventure University, says local companies should be building data centres to tap into the global cyber security market, worth $126 billion, because people would feel safe storing their data in the country. Read more here.

AI privacy tool fools facial recognition

Ubiquitous facial recognition is a serious threat to privacy, but researchers in the US have developed a new tool to help combat the problem. The tool, called Fawkes, uses artificial intelligence to subtly and almost imperceptibly alter photos in order to trick facial recognition systems. Read more here.

Image credit: American Robin via John James Audubon’s Birds of America

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