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June 28 2018

New Zealand Privacy Laws Strengthened, Commissioner Given More Power

New Zealand's Privacy Commissioner has introduced stronger privacy laws and stronger powers for its staff, citing the fact that the Internet, new technologies and social media platforms have transformed the way personal information is used, stored and transmitted.

The bill repeals and replaces the 25-year-old Privacy Act to take account of the changes and bring in new ways to enforce privacy principles. The main changes include mandatory reporting of privacy breaches that pose a risk of harm to people must be notified to the Privacy Commissioner and to affected individuals, the Privacy Commissioner will be able to issue compliance notices that require an agency to do something, or stop doing something, to comply with privacy law.

New Zealand agencies will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that personal information disclosed overseas will be subject to acceptable privacy standards, and more.