Inter-departmental information sharing

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Credit: NZ Herald

Excuse the wideness of this post, but the Herald have actually done a sterling job here.

Of course, their twist is to whip up some hysteria about Government data matching, but I’ve always found it absurd that people could leave the country while owing the IRD, having a current arrest warrant or being under investigation for Welfare fraud.

That doesn’t stop Nicholas Jones at the Herald from trying to make it sound more dangerous than it is

Millions of pieces of private information about New Zealanders are being shared between state departments – and the Government is planning to vastly increase the number of agencies involved, a Herald investigation has discovered.

The personal details already shared include names, birthdates, incomes, tax numbers, citizenship details, travel plans, ACC claims, home addresses and phone numbers.

Millions of pieces!

Collectively, of course. ?I’m not sure Government even holds 10,000 pieces of information on an individual, let alone a million, but that doesn’t suit Nicholas’ spin.

The first information-sharing deal under the new guidelines, which came into effect last week, will mean Kiwis living overseas who haven’t paid taxes, child support or student loan repayments can be tracked by the taxman through the address they give when they renew their passport.

Another factor is concern for the vulnerable, including children. After the death of Rotorua 3-year-old Nia Glassie, Ms Shroff called for the sharing of information about at-risk children, and for “privacy” not to be used as an excuse or obstacle.

Good job too. ?I realise there are genuine privacy concerns and worries about abuses by the State, but I’m sick of how scumbags have been hiding behind the privacy law to get away with being criminals, child abusers and dud parents.