Did Cullen teach NZ Post their dirty tricks?

NZ Post has been found to have made a “large scale breach of privacy”:

A New Zealand Post survey that collected personal data to rent out to marketing companies has been damned as a “systematic, large-scale breach” of privacy principles.

The criticisms are made in two reports carried out for Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff after concerned members of the public contacted her about the 2009 survey. The reports are to be published this week – just as this year’s NZ Post survey starts arriving in 800,000 letterboxes and 125,000 email inboxes.

The 2009 survey asked participants 57 multi-choice questions, ranging from their names, addresses, preferred petrol station and favourite magazine to their mortgage rate, credit card limit and partner’s income.

It also offered participants the chance to win cash, home entertainment and travel vouchers worth thousands of dollars if they completed the survey.

Once collected, the names and addressees of participants were rented out to “trusted, contracted commercial partners”, both in New Zealand and overseas.

The information was also used, along with other data, to help compile a NZ Post marketing device called Genius, which promises to help clients “gain deeper insights and understanding into your customers, particularly around wealth, life stage and lifestyle”.

It includes colour-coded maps classifying the population into 36 segments such as “cream of the crop”, “work boots and boiler suits”, “on the bread line”, “Pacific blend” and “meat and three veg”.

Gee, sounds just like Labour and their harvesting of details from a petition presented to parliament, I wonder if NZ Post got their idea for a massive breach of peoples privacy from Michael Cullen the Chair of NZ Post. Labour is as Labour does.

There is very little difference in the methods. Take data from one source, harvest all the details and then use the details to market another entity. If NZ Post has breached then surely labour has too. Looks like Marie Shroff needs to conduct another investigation.

Perhaps she could also ask if any of the data Labour has collected has ended up in Labour’s version of Genius, called ETRAC. Word has it that this system might also have been bought and paid for with Parliamentary Services funding and there may well be some explaining to do about what it is used for, where it is currently located and who operates it.



THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • royaloaks

    If smarmy arsed Cullen is anywhere near this, you can bet he will have had his finger in the pie.

  • peterwn

    Dom Post page A2 (Tracey Watkins) (sorry can’t find on Stuff) – Labour insiders claimed if the NZEI postcards had gone to John Key (as intended), the PM’s office would have been obliged to release all their details under OIA.

    My thoughts ‘now pull the other one’.

    • hagues

      Even if that were true, it wouldn’t have given National permission use all the email addresses for their own purposes. Imagine the cries of outrage if John Key did recieve the postcards and then proceeded to email everyone a letter outlining why asset sales were good and please donate to National.

    • peterwn

      Whale found the item in ‘Stuff’ – I felt an idiot until I saw that ‘Stuff’ put it up at 8.04am whereas I was hunting for it earlier than that.

  • rouppe

    And I notice that NZ Post says they have changed their survey so that it is titled “A survey” and that it is explicit that participation is voluntary.

    But nowhere have they said that they have made it clear that the information provided will be passed on in exchange for money to marketing firms.

    Very disappointing…

  • titanuranus

    In the dictionary under Anti-Midas, there is a picture of the venal midget Cullen.

  • thor42

    I would LOVE to see Michael “rich prick” Cullen taken down a peg or ten. Arrogant, smarmy, supercilious prick.