Case Note 202115 [2009] NZPrivCmr 18: Man complains about estranged family member unlawfully accessing IRD file

A man became estranged from his sister and, ultimately, found himself in a financial dispute with her. The sister worked for IRD. During the financial dispute, it became apparent to the man that his sister was accessing his IRD files. The man told IRD of his concerns and IRD agreed to investigate them. Some time later, the man’s concerns were confirmed and he again brought this to IRD’s attention. The man made a complaint to us about the fact that IRD had let his sister access his files even though he had warned them that he thought there was a risk of this happening.Principle 5 of the Privacy ActPrinciple 5 of the Act provides that agencies must protect personal information by safeguards that are reasonable in the circumstances. In particular, an agency must ensure that the personal information it holds is protected, by reasonable security safeguards, from unauthorised access or…

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