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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

Check out some of the biggest recent news involving privacy from Aotearoa and around the world. Topics include the Office of the Privacy Commissioner launching a new compliance programme for landlords, Facebook deleting its face-recognition system, and Grindr accused of violating the GDPR.

Privacy Commissioner takes aim at rental sector privacy practices

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) launched a new compliance monitoring programme to ensure that property managers and agencies are acting in accordance with the Privacy Act. Read more here (Stuff) 

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards confirms new UK role

New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner John Edwards is moving to the UK in the new year to take up the role of Information Commissioner. Read more here (Stuff)

ACC Launches review into privacy breaches

ACC has launched a review into its handling of client information and privacy, to be headed by lawyer Linda Clark. This review has been launched after a spate of incidents including call centre workers sharing details of people’s injuries on a group Snapchat. Read more here (RNZ)

Investigations shed more light on the Waikato DHB breach

Waikato DHB continues to be in the news as they investigate the cause of the May 2021 data breach that saw its systems disabled and data leaked onto the dark web. Read more here (NZHerald)

Facebook pulls back from facial recognition system

Facebook says it will delete the faceprints of more than 1 billion people and shut down its face-recognition system, after increasing criticism that the technology can be misused. Read more here (NZHerald)

“Are we sleep walking to a surveillance society?”

Concerns about facial recognition, biometric data and inbuilt data-sharing are being considered right across the globe. You can read the perspectives of New Zealand’s Richard Walker here (Stuff) and the Guardian’s Rob Davies here.

iPhone users prioritise privacy over targeted ads

In April, Apple released an update for iPhones that gave users the option whether to prevent advertisers from using a device ID. Over six months later, it’s clear most iPhone users opted out, and the feature, is now creating challenges for advertisers. Read more here (CNBC)

Grindr accused of violating the GDPR

Grindr have been accused of inconsistency in their policy for app use and for users’ access to information on their personal data. Though users may remain anonymous when using the app to connect with other users, users seeking access to their data use must prove their identities. Read more here (The Jurist)

Testing company plans to sell swabs carrying customer DNA to third parties.

A large Covid-19 testing company in the UK is being investigated by the country’s privacy watchdog over plans to sell swabs containing customers’ DNA for medical research. UK data protection laws require explicit informed consent for such sensitive information to be used. Read more here (

Canadian investigation into ‘reply-all error’ that risked exposing hundreds of vulnerable Afghans

Names – and in many cases faces – of several hundred Afghans who fear they’re at risk of reprisals from the Taliban, were shared in a human error data breach in Canada. The data breach took the form of a “reply-all error” across four separate emails. Read more here (CBC News)