What you need to know about privacy law changes

Date: 5th July 2019

Proposed privacy changes are expected to become law before the end of the year. If your business collects, stores or uses personal information about your clients, customers or employees, you need to get ready to be ahead of the game. Here’s what you need to know.

security cameras on wall

Why is this happening?

Technology and the information age have changed the way we do business. New Zealand’s Privacy Act 1993 needs a revamp, and the government is updating privacy laws to ensure personal information remains safe and secure in these rapidly changing times.

Who should care?

You! As a business that collects, stores or uses personal information, these new laws affect your obligations.

When is this going down?

The proposed bill is expected to become law before the end of 2019.

What’s actually changing?

Here are the top three things we think you need to know:

  1. When asked by a customer or employee to produce any and all personal information held about them, you may not avoid delivering the information by destroying it. By doing so, you may incur a $10,000 fine.
  2. If you work with overseas service providers, you will now be required to ensure that they meet the New Zealand standard and comply with New Zealand privacy laws.
  3. If you experience a significant privacy breach, you will be required to report the intrusion to all affected parties and the Privacy Commissioner.

How do I deal with these changes?

To get in front of the upcoming changes, talk to your staff and get everyone in your team on board.

  • Learn about your obligations with easy, interactive modules produced by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner at elearning.privacy.org.nz.
  • Reach out to your overseas service providers to assess whether they are currently meeting the proposed new standards for privacy in New Zealand.
  • Discuss data breaches and information requests as a team, and come up with a plan of action.
  • Finally, learn everything you can to help get your business ready, and you’ll be winning from the get-go.

Where can I find more information?

Check out this article from business.govt.nz: Get ready for privacy law changes

Call the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on 0800 803 909

Submit an online enquiry at privacy.org.nz.

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