Case Note 210300 [2010] NZPrivCmr 3: Private Investigator uses credit reporter to carry out initial witness search

A man applied to a credit reporter for a copy of his credit report. Upon receiving the report, he was shocked to find an enquiry on it from a private investigation firm. The man was not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint to the credit reporter, and complained to our Office. In particular, the man complained that the private investigator had not provided the credit reporter with any evidence to support its reasons for accessing his credit report. Principle 1 of the Privacy ActPrinciple 1 of the Privacy Act provides that an agency shall only collect personal information that is necessary for a lawful purpose connected with the function of that agency. The private investigator said that he had accessed the man’s credit report for the purpose of court proceedings and that the information he sought – relating to the identity of the man as a potential witness -…

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