Case Note 202833 [2009] NZPrivCmr 11 : Telecommunications service provider mistakenly sends husband’s telephone account to estranged wife

A couple decided to separate. They each decided to stay with the telecommunications service provider they had used during their marriage. They informed the company of their new postal addresses.A year after the couple’s separation, the company mistakenly sent the husband’s account to his estranged wife’s postal address. The account included all the phone numbers that had been dialled from the husband’s phone.The husband discovered the company’s error when his wife dialled some of the numbers listed on his account. Some of these numbers belonged to the husband’s friends who told him that his wife had called. He complained to the company.All telecommunications agencies must have internal procedures for handling privacy complaints, as required under Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications Information Privacy Code 2003. The company advised him that it would conduct an investigation and would contact him within three weeks. However, two months passed without any contact from the company.

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