New Privacy Act 2020
New Zealand’s privacy laws were updated and amended on the 1st December 2020 with the introduction of the new Privacy Act 2020.
This Law was last updated in 1993. Since then we have seen the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Age of Data and phenomena such as the Internet, Big Data and massive inter-connectivity of people, devices and locations.
The most significant changes include:
- Identifying information cannot be collected unless requested – this prohibits an agency obtaining more identifying information from an individual than is necessary for the purpose for which it is collected.
- Mandatory notification of a privacy breach – this applies to all “notifiable privacy breaches” being where the breach has caused, or is likely to cause, an individual serious harm.
- Privacy Commissioner can issue public compliance notices and issue fines – The Commissioner will have the ability to issue a compliance notice to any agency requiring them to take action, or stop taking a particular action in order to comply with privacy laws.
- Disclosure of personal information outside New Zealand – this will put more limits on foreign disclosure by requiring an agency to satisfy one of six requirements before disclosing personal information overseas.
It is unlikely the new Act will be seen in world-leading terms like its predecessor was in 1993. The latest European Privacy Regulation, for instance, goes much further, giving individuals the right to erasure. However, it is a step in the right direction and New Zealanders should welcome it. Newsroom
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