Action on laws needed in Privacy Week

The Government must speed up promised law changes to reassure the public their private information is in safe hands as the country marks Privacy Week, Labour’s associate Justice spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

“The previous Justice Minister Judith Collins announced much needed sweeping changes to the Privacy Act a year ago this month. They would give the Privacy Commissioner more powers to compel public and private sector organisations to report privacy breaches and new offences and fines for those who didn’t. We are yet to see any legislation appear.

“Instead, in Privacy Week we have the current Justice Minister Amy Adams urging people to protect their own privacy.

“She is completely out of touch. After numerous privacy breaches from Government departments, there is a widespread perception that personal data is not safe.

“The current laws are inadequate and she must tell the public what has happened to the revamp.

The Privacy Commissioner’s 2014 annual public survey showed that 63 percent of them rate their level of concern about the privacy of their information as high and that this number has remained very high over recent years.

“The Government must rebuild trust with the public and ensure the electronic systems used are robust, resourced, modern, and regularly audited. But there is a growing body of evidence that this is not the case.

“Come on Minister, tell us when we will get improved privacy laws,” says Clare Curran.