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Privacy Bill: Time to make your submission

April 13, 2018


Partners Jania Baigent, Sally McKechnie, Karen Ngan, John Rooney
Senior Associates Joanne Dickson

Data protection (inc Privacy Bill and GDPR) Government reform and public policy

The Justice Select Committee is now accepting public submissions on the Privacy Bill 2018 - which will be the biggest reform to New Zealand's data protection legislation since the current Privacy Act was enacted 25 years ago. There may be changes to the Bill that could affect your business, and this is a key opportunity to have your say. 

…But you'll need to get in quick: the deadline for making submissions is Thursday, 24 May 2018.

The Bill currently proposes the following key changes to the law as it stands under the Privacy Act 1993:

  • Mandatory reporting of privacy breaches that pose a risk of harm to people;

  • Privacy Commissioner powers to issue "compliance notices", requiring an agency to do (or not do) something, in order to comply with privacy laws. Also the power to make binding decisions on complaints relating to access to information;

  • Requiring New Zealand agencies to take reasonable steps to ensure that personal information disclosed overseas will be subject to acceptable privacy standards;

  • New criminal offences are established, for anyone who misleads an agency in a way that affects someone else’s information, and also for anyone who knowingly destroys documents containing personal information where a request has been made for it. Any person that commits these offences is liable to a fine up to $10,000.

A large number of organisations, including the Privacy Commissioner, are expected to make submissions on the Bill, including advocating for greater changes around data portability, compliance monitoring, controls on re-identification of data, and reforming the public register privacy principles.

If there are changes that your business would like to see, or you have concerns about the potential changes that might be made, a submission to the Select Committee is one way you are able to participate in the shaping of the Bill.

Our team of experts are available to assist you, whether that means talking through how the Privacy Bill will affect your business, or guiding you through the process of making a submission.

If you would like to discuss any of the above, and learn how we might be able to assist you and your business, please get in touch with one of our team.

You can read our more detailed overview of the key changes proposed by the Bill, in our news article here.