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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

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

Privacy law refreshed to reflect the times

In June this year, following considerable debate, Parliament passed a new Privacy Act. Technology has revolutionised the way people disclose, share and release information and the new Privacy Act attempts to address some of the concerns about how the original 1993 law functioned. Perhaps most significantly, a privacy breach notification system comes into force and the Privacy Commissioner has greater powers to enforce compliance. Read more here.

Global location number on QR code scanning app ‘nothing scary’

Every time you scan a QR code with the NZ Covid Tracer app, a ‘global location number’ (GLN) is recorded, but the app does not track people’s movements. The 13-digit number identifies the location you visited and has been likened to a barcode on a product at the supermarket. Assistant Privacy Commissioner Liz MacPherson says the GLN is “not something sinister”. Read more here.

New privacy rules are coming in NZ

Data privacy has become a major concern for consumers and corporations alike a recent survey commissioned by global technology company Masergy revealed 70% of business leaders find data security challenging. The issue will come to a head when New Zealand’s Privacy Act 2020 comes into force on December 1, introducing mandatory privacy breach notification and compliance notices for organisations that aren’t complying with the law. Read more here.

Oranga Tamariki emails details of suspected teen suicide to reporter

Child welfare agency Oranga Tamariki has apologised for accidentally sending an email containing details about the suspected suicide of a teenager to a reporter. The email was sent by a senior Oranga Tamariki adviser on Thursday and included the name of the teenager and other family members. Read more here.

Law Commission calls for overhaul in DNA use for criminal investigations,

The Law Commission is calling for a radical overhaul of how DNA is obtained, used and retained by police. A new report from the Commission found the current way DNA is used in criminal investigations ignores human rights, tikanga Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi. The Commission’s recommendations include proposals to better protect individuals’ human rights and privacy. Read more here.

Corrections spent $800,000 on biometric ID in prisons

The Department of Corrections has spent at least $800,000 on biometric identification systems since 2016 but admits it does not keep close track of spending. A spokesperson has said that Corrections do not use “any form of facial recognition in its prisons” but the systems use photographs and fingerprints to identify visitors to the facilities. Read more here.

Five ways to protect your business against cyber-attacks

Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of Covid-19 as we all spend more time online, using video technology and working remotely. Cyber-attacks are accelerating globally, and New Zealand SMEs are a target for cyber-criminals. Now more than ever, businesses should evaluate their IT systems and have plans in place in the event of a breach. Read more here.

Image credit: Downy Woodpecker via John James Audubon’s Birds of America

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