Why isn’t this the biggest privacy scandal of the year?

I’m sure we all remember the “outrage” about the GSCB bill legalising the spying on a dozen or so kiwis during a year.

I’m sure we all remember how this tore at the fabric of society and it was the beginning of the end.

Well, you might be right.

A Whaleoil investigation shows

A man who was told after a knock at the door that he was $22 million richer initially thought his visitors were real estate agents.

He now says he is “really, really chuffed” that he was tracked down – after not bothering to check his ticket because a workmate said the prize had been claimed.

Lotto NZ officials had tracked the Christchurch man down after he had failed to realise he was sitting on the winning Big Wednesday ticket.

Aww, that’s nice.  How did they track him down?  

Lotto’s gaming system records every ticket bought, including the purchase day and time, and method of payment. If a bank card is used, Lotto can work with the bank to get information to the customer.

In this case, cash was used, so Lotto worked with staff at Pak’nSave Riccarton to track down instore video footage which eventually narrowed the search to one person.

Lotto would not reveal further details, citing privacy reasons

I don’t know about you, but I’m gobsmacked at this gross invasion of privacy and data matching.

I understand that Loto hold their own sales data, but under what circumstances does it think it is legal to get together with Pak ‘n Save Riccarton?   And it wasn’t used this time, but since when do banks allow access to data without a search warrant to a third party?

One of the Privacy Act Principles is that when a company captures data, it is never used for purposes other than it was captured for.  Sharing data between distinct non-government organisations has to be major breach of the law.

As I argued at the time of the GCSB hysteria – what the GCSB wants to do – legally – to take down some potential criminals is not even a percent of a percent of the daily invasions of privacy we allow ourselves through our electronic footprints, never mind the tsunami of information we share willingly online.

No matter the “good news story” of a Lotto winner getting to enjoy his prize.  This is a total abuse of the law.

Whaleoil contacted the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for comment, but they were not able to comment until they were in possession of all the details of this situation.


Source: Nicholas Jones @ NZ Herald with additional reporting by Whaleoil

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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.