Same old, same old

Labour are making a great deal of fuss over the ACC privacy breach. It isn’t good that such breaches occur at all, but the reality is you are dealing with inept civil servants and technology.

Labour should know this they had their own massive privacy breach back in 2004:

National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich is questioning how safe the public’s personal details are following the release of more than 1300 children’s names in an answer about CYF foster placements.

“This is a gross breach of privacy. I have never seen a worse instance of it from a Minister of the Crown,” Mrs Rich says.

The names were attached to an electronic spreadsheet which listed the number of foster placements per child on a region-by-region basis. As well as naming the children, it also identified their caregiver and the local CYF office.

“I don’t know why the Minister’s office should have that information at all. It was certainly not relevant to the question I asked, which was how many CYF children had been in three or more foster homes in the past year.

“The answer – 1354 – was bad enough, but I was stunned when I saw the Minister’s office had given me all their names.

“Ruth Dyson should issue an immediate apology to the children and their caregivers. I appreciate that her office has been under a lot of stress given her recent ‘technically correct’ answers, but this is inexcusable.

“This is a Government that forced former prison boss Celia Lashlie to resign at the first hint that she might have broken the confidence of one child. What happens with such a blatant breach of the privacy of 1354 children?”

Mrs Rich has contacted the office of the Clerk of the House and Ms Dyson’s office to alert them to the privacy breach.

“If we had not caught this information, it would have been published on the Internet within a few days,” says Mrs Rich.

That is a terrible breach of privacy. I called Katherine Rich to ask if she did what Bronwyn Pullar did. She confirmed to me that she deleted the file off all parliamentary machines immediately and notified both the Minister and the Department of what they had done.

Ruth Dyson of course didn’t resign over this.

Some things never change…cock-up over conspiracy wins every time when looking into how things like this happen.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.