Privacy Bill implements 2011 recommendations

Publication Date 
10 May 2018

Seven years after the Law Commission completed its review of privacy law the government has introduced a Bill to implement is recommendations.

The Bill, which draws on recommendations in the Commission’s Final Reports, would strengthen New Zealand’s privacy protections.

Although the Law Commission completed its work in 2011, its reports and recommendations seem increasingly pertinent now. Many people’s online private data continues to grow exponentially through social media platforms. Last month’s news that British company Cambridge Analytica had used data from millions of Facebook users to influence their vote in the US Presidential elections raised concerns about privacy to a new level.

The Justice Minister Andrew Little told the New Zealand Herald that the Bill is likely to pass by the end of the year.

"We got the bill to a point where we met the recommendations of the Law Commission. We could've spent longer getting it absolutely perfect but that would have delayed its introduction by a few months."

The Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has welcomed the Bill saying the 2001 review recommendations will help modernise the Privacy Act. He also says a lot has changed since then. He will be lobbying or further changes to the Bill including the ability for the Privacy Commission to fine organisations up to $1 million for privacy breaches.