Data privacy

Face of the day

Act Leader David Seymour

Act Leader David Seymour

A few words from today’s face of the day David Seymour about the Media.

Last week I spoke at a charity debate to raise money for the families of journalists killed for doing their job in dangerous countries. This week the so called International Consortium of International Journalists have put thousands of people in similar countries in danger of extortion and persecution by publishing details of their financial affairs, searchable on the internet.

Read more »

Another privacy question: where to draw the line at Customs?

New Zealand Customs has released a raft of proposed changes to customs laws, which haven’t been significantly updated in more than 20 years.

It wants new powers giving them the right to demand passwords or encryption keys at the border.

“We’re looking at targeted devices, we might be looking for child objectionable material, we might be looking for weapons,” Customs Minister Nicky Wagner said.

However Thomas Beagle of the NZ Council for Civil Liberties doubted the country would be safer.

“If you really were a terrorist or a drug dealer going across the border, would you carry anything incriminating on you?” he said. “Of course you wouldn’t, you’d leave it up on dropbox or some cloud based server and come through customs with a clean laptop and phone.”

The public is being asked to give feedback on the proposed changes, which also includes giving Customs the power to order passengers to empty their pockets and increase the use of biometric information.

Giving Customs the power to access any computer coming across the border is just ridiculous. ?However, if they have their suspicions, they should be able to quarantine a device while a search warrant is being organised.

We really can’t be going around digging into people’s digital lives without a probable cause that a judge can sign his or her name to.

Share your ideas of how Customs can be empowered to do a good job without throwing the baby out with the bathwater below.


– One News

Spot the Green Taliban hypocrites

So, a short summary… ?The Green Party are

– AGAINST Five Eyes

– AGAINST the GCSB, for the most part

– AGAINST the SIS, for the most part

They are also

– FOR hackers stealing private information for political purposes

– FOR using hacked private information for political purposes

and now, instead of supporting data privacy, they want the PM to stop deleting his TXTs? Read more »

Laila Harre doesn’t actually believe in her own party policies

…or she does, but she doesn’t have a clue what it all means. ?(More likely)




I still don’t believe that everything on Mega is inaccessible to the people who run Mega. ? It may be safe from outsiders, but the fact that they hold all the software and it hasn’t been independently verified to be secure leaves the possibility open that Mega staff and owners could, conceivably access anything at all.

This would be a matter of trust, would it not?

So you need to look at the people behind Mega. ?I wouldn’t be comfortable with it.


So, privacy is pretty flexible then?

A Court?The?Human Rights Review Tribunal?has decided a failed job applicant is allowed to see the CVs of the other applicants in his search to prove he was discriminated against

A Timaru man accusing Alpine Energy of age discrimination for not hiring him has won the right to see the CVs of the other applicants.

In 2012, when he was 62 years old, Kevin Waters applied for two positions advertised by Alpine Energy. He was unsuccessful in both and Mr Waters alleges that he was discriminated against by reason of age.

After a hearing on February 10, the Human Rights Review Tribunal has ruled Mr Waters has the right to view the information held about the other applicants.

The decision stated Mr Waters should have full access to all documents as they might assist in, “establishing, albeit indirectly, that the record shows that persons of younger age, with lesser skills, lesser qualifications, lesser direct experience and lesser time engaged in similar work or in similar positions, were considered more favourably and were ultimately successful in being appointed to the two advertised positions.”

I realise people within the company may see your CV, but I can’t understand why a court?the Human Rights Review Tribunal?would consider those CVs to be accessible to failed applicants. ?This is a pretty untidy precedent. ? Read more »

NZ Herald can snoop on private phone data without a warrant

Pete reported on this in April last year. ?It appears that the NZ Herald Android app is ruffling some geekier feathers as the privacy rot continues to creep

Last night I saw that I had a pending app update for the NZ Herald app on my android.

Going into the update, NZ Herald seems to be asking for some pretty excessive access to my personal data, without any explanation about why. The update ‘whats new’ simply says “Bug fixes and app enhancements”, with no suggestions about what ‘enhancements’ actually need that data for.

I’m hoping it’s a simple mistake on the part of the application developers, however for a news app to request access to my contact and my browser history is fishy to say the least.

I’ve removed the app from my phone rather than update. I’ll use their mobile website from now on until they can either remove the requirement for accessing my personal info, or give me a damn good reason why they need it and plan to protect it.

Pete got his knickers in a knot about the app needing access to the camera. ?It allows the NZ Herald app to take photos any time it likes.

But now, they also want access to all this: ? Read more »

Speaking of data and privacy concerns…

The Herald, no less, seems to think it important enough to report the concerns people have with Government access to private data

New powers for the Ministry of Social Development which would allow officials to secretly approach beneficiaries’ banks or workplaces if they suspected them of committing welfare fraud have been questioned by women’s groups.

As part of reforms to recoup $20 million in relationship fraud each year, ministry staff would not have to inform a beneficiary if they were investigating whether they were wrongly claiming welfare.

Of course we need some decent rules, guidelines and penalties for breaches of privacy.

But we also need to let the Government do its job, especially in identifying those that are stealing from the tax payer. ? Read more »

Has the Herald broken the law?

They may well have broken the law with their little data mining project exposing that MPs follow the rules and some are richer than others.

The Privacy Act says:

Privacy Act 1993 Clause 59 Public Register Privacy Principles ?

Principle 2 Use of information from public registers

Personal information obtained from a public register?shall not be re-sorted, or combined with personal information obtained from any other public register, for the purpose of making available for valuable consideration personal information?assembled in a form in which that personal information could not be obtained directly from the register.? Read more »