Post sponsored by

Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

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

Rental sector privacy investigation ramps up

Information gathering practices in the rental accommodation sector are under the spotlight again as the Privacy Commissioner starts consultations with the industry. This move follows the Commissioner’s announcement in February that an increase in complaints about the type of questions potential tenants were being asked meant he would be investigating the issue. Read more here.

Police trialled drones before investigating security concerns

New Zealand Police trialled a type of drone used in the US before looking into security concerns about data from the machines being hijacked or hacked. Police first identified “potential security issues” with the Chinese-made drones in July 2019 but had already approved a six-month drone trial the month before. Read more here.

Dental firm email hack: Patient information accessed

A dental company with 120 practices nationwide is confident a data breach at a Wellington surgery was an isolated incident. Wellington Oral Surgery, which is owned by Lumino, discovered a staff member’s email account had been hacked and patients’ personal information had been accessed. As a result of the hack, some patients had been receiving suspicious emails. Read more here.

University wipes staff and students’ desktop computers

Victoria University of Wellington accidentally deleted all the files stored on the desktops of staff and postgraduate student computers. The University revealed in an email that maintenance to clear disk space may have deleted files and changed settings it should not have. A University spokesperson said some affected staff and students had not been able to regain access to files. Read more here.

IRD sent details of baby to complete stranger and paid her $240

A woman was shocked to find the details of an unknown baby had been added to her online Inland Revenue account and to receive a $240 back-dated payment for the child. The woman said she felt bad for the parents of the child who were missing out on the money and had also had a privacy breach of their child’s details. Read more here.

Taming the ‘wild west’ of the internet

Experts on violent extremism and digital conflict are warning that new safeguards and protective infrastructure are needed to render the internet a safer space. The experts gathered at a conference held by the University of Otago’s National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and likened the internet to the ‘wild west’ with a lack of critical infrastructure to protect the public. Read more here.

Image credit: Fox-coloured sparrow via John James Audubon’s Birds of America