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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

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

Man snuck into operating theatre during major surgery

Police were called after a member of the public disguised himself in scrubs and snuck into a Wellington Hospital operating theatre during a major surgery. It is believed the man was assisted by a final-year medical student, who was on placement at the hospital. Read more here.

Man’s privacy claim fails after medical records are given to employer

The High Court has ruled that ACC did not interfere with a man’s privacy after disclosing his health records to an insurer, who then shared them with his employer. The man, who was claiming compensation for a back injury, argued that ACC shared health records with his employer that were not connected to his claim, forcing him to resign from his job. Read more here.

QR codes making life easier but what about privacy?

QR codes are helping venues in Australia comply with their contact tracing obligations by assisting in the collection of personal information. Australia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk says standard protection protocols apply and organisations must take reasonable steps to protect the personal information that they collect. Read more here.

Why contact-tracing apps haven’t slowed Covid-19 in the US

As Covid-19 spread across the United States earlier this year, a race began to create apps that could quickly identify people who may have been infected. In European countries with nationally coordinated pandemic responses, releasing an app within the existing public health system has been fairly straightforward – but the US response has become mired in politics. Read more here.

Ride-hailing app writes to UK privacy watchdog over Moscow data demands

London-based ride-hailing app Wheely has written to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after being asked to hand over customer data to the Moscow Department of Transportation (MDOT). The case is the latest feud between a major city and a ride-hailing app about the balance between regulating transport and customer privacy. Read more here.

Smart speakers: why sales are rocketing despite our privacy fears

Privacy fears have been around since the early days of smart speakers. Despite these concerns, smart speakers were one of the most popular Christmas gifts of 2019 and there was a 70% increase in worldwide sales compared to the year before. So, do consumers really care about their privacy or are they simply caught in a trap of convenience? Read more here.

Image credit: Large billed Puffin via John James Audubon’s Birds of America

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