Case Note 211257 [2009] NZPrivCmr 16: Several people complain that a government department lost their personal information

In 2008 a staff member from a government department dropped a file in an Auckland street. The file contained a list with personal information about a large number of individuals.The information was subsequently passed to media outlets.The department followed the Privacy Breach Notification Guidelines responding to the incident. They informed the Privacy Commissioner’s Office and all individuals affected about what had happened. Some of those individuals then complained to the Privacy Commissioner. The complaint raised issues under Principle 5 of the Privacy Act.Principle 5 – security safeguardsPrinciple 5 provides that:An agency that holds personal information shall ensure -(a) that the information is protected, by such security safeguards as it is reasonable in the circumstances to take, against –

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