NZ: Privacy review report

February 11, 2008 at 10:31 pm 4 comments

It seems to be the season for official privacy reviews. The Australian Law Reform Commission recently published its recommendations to reform Australia’s privacy laws and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has launched the UK’s first Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) handbook.

Joining the list, in NZ the Law Commission has released a study paper Privacy: Concepts and Issues which is the first stage in a major review of laws related to privacy. There is also a video of the press conference of the report’s launch (23 minutes) that includes a good overview of the paper and a discussion on the interplay between privacy and technology.

The report is the outcome of stage 1 of the Law Commission’s Review of Privacy, and provides background for the later stages. It therefore does not include recommendations.

As one would expect, one of the big questions it looked at was “How is changing technology (particularly the internet) affecting privacy?” Other questions looked at include:

• What is privacy?
• How has it been recognised and protected by the law?
• Are there particular Māori concepts of privacy?
• Do young people have different ideas about privacy from older people?

Given the report’s importance, scope, and size (222 pages) it is hard to summarise it or highlight only a few things. I will come back to the report in future blog posts and look at how some of the major questions have been addressed.

However, one thing that I would like to highlight is the recognition of the work we are doing in the Authentication Programme. The report says:

“In New Zealand, innovative work on authentication is being undertaken as part of the e-government programme coordinated by the State Services Commission… New Zealand may not be a leading developer of new hardware or software, but our relatively small size may assist in finding innovative ways of protecting privacy in the design of systems, as the example of the e-government programme suggests.”


Entry filed under: authentication, government, identity, igovt, NZ, privacy, video.

NZ: how big is identity theft? UK: pleased to not be a teen

4 Comments Add your own

  • […] Original post by Vikram […]

  • 2. mihaiv  |  February 15, 2008 at 6:24 am

    I am subject to serious human rights violations including deep privacy violations. Detailed private information about me, about what I do and say in almost any context is constantly made public and this happened for many years. I think that it is hard to find other cases of such a deep and extensive public exposure of private information. If privacy laws have a meaning to exist they should certainly apply to this case to their greatest extent.
    Please help.

  • 3. UK: selling your browsing data « Identity and Privacy Blog  |  February 27, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    […] spatial privacy or people having the right to control their private space that was highlighted by the Law Commission’s report- deserves equal protection but is largely ignored by the […]

  • 4. Lied about my comments? « Mihai’s Weblog  |  February 28, 2008 at 7:00 am

    […] Since February 11 2008, I haven’t made any comment, anywhere. My last comment was to the NZ: Privacy review report. […]


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