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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

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

Police apologise for revealing Covid-19 status to prospective employers

Police vetting revealed six people’s Covid-19 status to their prospective employers, a report has shown. The report by the Privacy Commissioner examined how the Ministry of Health disclosed Covid-19 patient information to emergency services, including the police, who then included it in their vetting. Read more here.

Credit bureau Illion found in breach of Privacy Act

Credit reporting agency Illion has stopped marketing financial products through its Credit Simple business after it was found to be in breach of the Privacy Act. An investigation by the Privacy Commissioner found Illion used Credit Simple to circumvent the code for marketing purposes. Read more here.

Police abused power after drug raid on Warkworth motel

An Independent Police Conduct Authority report has found that police abused their power after a drug search of a Warkworth motel in 2016. The Authority says police actions included two breaches of privacy, an unlawful search, and inappropriate involvement in tenancy and building compliance issues. Read more here.

Apple privacy update raises security concerns for Z customers

Z is rejecting the idea that there are security problems with its app. Apple’s latest operating system update includes a new privacy feature that tells users when apps are using information from their phone’s clipboard, and the feature indicated that the Z app was doing so. Read more here.

Technology versus privacy in a poorly regulated industry

Law enforcement organisations worldwide are tapping into increasingly sophisticated facial recognition tech, but even one of the firms that develops it is concerned about lack of regulation in the industry. Read more here.

Apps losing face with racist scanning tech

Facial recognition and artificial intelligence used by digital platforms, including Zoom and Twitter, are being criticised for a bias against people with dark skin. People with dark skin routinely disappear into virtual backgrounds or are automatically cropped out of online images. The problem could see innocent people misidentified by law enforcement agencies, who are increasingly using the technology. Read more here.

UK launches privacy-protecting contact tracing app

The UK has finally released its contact tracing app, based on the previously rejected Exposure Notification framework from Apple and Google. The app is available in England and Wales, while Scotland and Northern Ireland have similar apps already. Read more here

Regulators warn US could fall behind without privacy standard

Current and former regulators in the United States have urged lawmakers to pass a federal privacy standard, warning that US consumers and businesses lack a road map for data usage as the coronavirus pandemic pushes more of daily life online. The deliberations come as European courts halt some data transfers to the US on privacy grounds. Read more here.

Image credit: Red Phalarope via John James Audubon’s Birds of America

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