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Privacy & Data Protection

Today's businesses operate in an era of ever-growing computing capacity where unfathomable amounts of data are collected, created, stored, analysed and even sold.

But just as data is a valuable analytical tool for businesses, your obligations for that data need to be understood and managed. We all know that a data or privacy breach can be devastating for a business’s reputation and have serious legal consequences.

Our privacy specialists provide expert guidance on the current legislation and upcoming reforms. Our specialists are leaders in the field. We acted in the ground-breaking case that first recognised breach of privacy as actionable under New Zealand law. Since then, we have acted on the leading New Zealand cases dealing with civil liability for invasion of privacy and with balancing the competing values of privacy, open justice, and freedom of information.

We have in-depth experience across a broad spectrum of privacy issues, ranging from the collection, use, disclosure, retention, and security of personal information to the application of the Privacy Act and Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act. We help clients through:

  • carrying out health checks of their privacy readiness and compliance
  • conducting privacy impact assessments on new initiatives
  • managing trans-border data flows
  • maximising their database value
  • providing compliance training
  • preparing emergency response plans
  • advising on privacy in the employment sphere
  • managing privacy disputes & litigation
  • advising on data breaches.

Examples of our work

  • Preparation of privacy policies for a wide range of clients in relation to customer data and employee data
  • Specific advice on transborder data flows, particularly for multi-national clients seeking to store personal information of New Zealand customers offshore
  • Compliance advice on the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act Andrews v Television New Zealand Limited - invasion of privacy as relates to filming and screening on television of road accident victim, and defence of legitimate public concern
  • Television New Zealand Limited v Rogers - scope of the tort of invasion of privacy in context of open justice and publication of inadmissible evidence
  • Mafart v Television New Zealand Limited - search and broadcast of court film footage relating to the Rainbow Warrior
  • Hosking v Runting - leading authority on the tort of invasion of privacy and the nature and extent of such tort in New Zealand