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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

Today the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) begins a round of engagements with representatives of tenants, landlords, property managers and related businesses.

An initial period of information gathering on privacy practice in the rental accommodation sector has confirmed that large amounts of information is being collected from prospective tenants. OPC is now moving to more targeted engagement to better understand current practices and business models in the rental accommodation sector.

This action follows last month’s announcement by Privacy Commissioner John Edwards of his intention to focus on the collection, retention, and disclosure of personal information in the sector. Mr Edwards is concerned that some property management agencies are asking for very detailed information from prospective tenants as part of their selection process, while others are using public forums to compile lists of so-called ‘bad tenants’.

The meetings with stakeholder representatives will inform OPC’s review of collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the sector, and of compliance issues under the Privacy Act.

“We are interested in the different perspectives of all participants in the sector to learn more about what personal information about tenants is being collected and why, and how tenants’ personal information is being used and disclosed,” Mr Edwards says.

OPC’s current engagement is focussed on privacy issues in the private residential rental accommodation market.

If you are a tenant with concerns about the use of your personal information, please contact