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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

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

Concerns landlords may be seeking too much information

The Privacy Commissioner is looking into the information that landlords are asking of applicants and what is being done with that data. The move comes after recent publicity about landlords compiling lists of so-called “bad tenants” on websites and social media. Read more here.

Landlords using private Facebook page to blacklist tenants

Hundreds of property managers across the country are signed up to a private social media page where landlords blacklist tenants, despite the claims of bad behaviour being unverified and some posts potentially breaching privacy rights. Listen to the story on RNZ here.

The wariness thwarting our contact tracing

Otago University research has found New Zealanders’ reluctance to use government and business contact tracing measures is primarily driven by privacy concerns and a feeling of complacency. Rising concerns about privacy have been attributed to increasingly personalised advertisements online and widely reported data scandals. Read more here.

Drug testing policy issues highlighted in recent decision

A recent decision from the Employment Relations Authority has traversed some of the issues around privacy, consent, and testing methodology involved in compulsory drug testing of employees. The decision centred on whether the company’s collective agreement entitled employees to choose their preferred testing method for the drug tests required as a condition of employment. Read more here.

Clearview’s facial recognition tech deemed illegal mass surveillance

Privacy authorities in Canada say Clearview AI’s facial recognition practices amount to mass surveillance and the company should delete the faces of Canadians from its database. Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien says he considers the company’s method of scraping photos from social media illegal under Canada’s privacy laws, but conceded he could not fine the company or force them to leave Canada. Read more here.

Here’s a way to learn if facial recognition systems used your photos

When tech companies created the facial recognition systems that are rapidly remaking government surveillance and chipping away at personal privacy, they used millions of images collected from a wide range of online sources. Researchers have now built an online tool that lets people search many of these image collections to check whether their face was used. Read more here.

Image credit: Brasilian Caracara Eagle via John James Audubon’s Birds of America