Zero tolerance for privacy breaches

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, August 17th, 2012 - 22 comments
Categories: Ethics, national - Tags: , ,

Consider two Ministers and their attitude to privacy. First, Judith Collins:

Minister furious over ACC’s privacy stance

ACC Minister Judith Collins wants the state insurer to start sacking staff who breach a new “zero tolerance” policy on privacy breaches.

A furious Ms Collins has revealed her astonishment at the failure of ACC to include privacy among nine of its “top priorities”.

“I’m not going to sit back and let one of the most important government entities [that] we have let people down time and time again around things such as privacy. …

“I think that they need to be – and they are now – taking on a culture of zero tolerance to privacy breaches, in particular,” she said.

Police had a “zero tolerance” approach to staff accessing private details about people without good reason. “People lose their jobs over it, and that’s something that I think ACC needs to have, which is that we have people’s very personal information, we should treat it with respect and should understand it’s a very privileged position.”

Second, Paula Bennett:

Bennett might release more details

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is unrepentant about releasing the personal details of a solo mother who criticised her, suggesting she might to do it again if faced with the same circumstances.

The Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Hesketh, has told the minister she breached mother Natasha Fuller’s privacy when she released details of Ms Fuller’s benefit in July 2009.

Collins can’t credibly call for zero tolerance on privacy breaches while working alongside a Minister who has not only breached privacy, but is unrepentant, and boasting that she might do it again. Bennett has breached the Privacy Act – what is she doing still in cabinet? The Nats have no credibility while she remains*. John Key has no credibility until he acts.

* And Gerry Brownlee trying to play semantics with the obvious twice in question time yesterday doesn’t help.

[And now. Hekia Parata appears to have infringed the privacy of teachers, who wrote to her in a private capacity to oppose government education policy, after replies were copied to their school boards. Meanwhile, Gerry Brownlee compares teachers and solo mums to the Beast of Blenhiem, as people whose private information the government might reveal. JH]

22 comments on “Zero tolerance for privacy breaches”

  1. Carol 1

    NAct is sliding in the direction of dictatorship, where they don’t tolerate any criticisms. They thumb their noses at transparency and democracy. A rep from the Post Primary Teachers Association talked on RNZ this morning about Parata’s alleged breach of privacy:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/113476/union-claim-denied

    The Post Primary Teachers Association says several teachers who wrote to Ms Parata about student/teacher ratios got a response that was copied to their school board and principal.

    The union says the teachers sent letters from personal email addresses and did not say where they work.

    PPTA president Robin Duff says he knows of three cases and this suggests Ms Parata’s office accessed their teacher records or matched their names with publicly available information.

    Constant pressure should be put on the government to be more democratic and transparent. The general public needs to be more aware of the issues here, and the government’s way of operating.

    • Dv 1.1

      Who signed the letters from the ministry of ed to the schools?

      AND reported in the dompost print on Mon? the guy from the correspondence school seconded for two years has gone back to his previous position after 2 months. He was seconded to set up charter schools if i recall. Can any one else shed any light on this?

  2. captain hook 2

    so what about the report on RNZ this am that another minister has taken personal details from e-mails and reported the senders to their employers.
    this government is getting nastier and nastier.

  3. shaz 3

    What I find interesting is why the Human Rights Commission resolution by the Director of Human Rights Proceedings was so timid. It said that there was a resolution to a Privacy Act breach even though the Minister has not acknowledged the breach of the Act in her letter, said that it was a matter of opinion and threatens to do it again. Presumably the length of time indicates that there were lengthy negotiations towards a better outcome which the Director was not ultimately able to deliver in the face of a determined, powerful and unapologetic transgressor. If this is the best protection that can be afforded by a privacy regime then it appears to be broken. A very bad situation for freedom of speech.

    • Socialist Paddy 3.1

      Good question Shaz. I think the answer is the response of Fuller. If she agreed that the investigation should end then Hesketh no doubt thought that he should do so. He may also have been afraid of the Commission making a call on the issue. It is packed to the gunnels with tories and a decision may have spelt the end of the Commission’s independence.

  4. ad 4

    – ACC privacy breaches both accidental and orchestrated

    – Education Minister’s office personal attacks and leaking personal emails

    – Social Welfare Minister personal attacks

    These three are Ministerial hubris. Evil.

    – Also the Police moves on DotCom at the instigation of the UNited States law enfrocement agencies, bulldozing through all kinds of actual due process, and only righted by a whole team of Auckland best and brightest lawyers.

    Loved Russell Norman’s phrasing in teh Hosue yesteray talking about a chill over democracy.

    And yet there’s Whaleoil over there still wondering why people are forced to use pseudonyms.

    I would just encourage this site to keep attacking these Ministers.

    • weka 4.1

      Norman also called NACT/UF the evil coalition yesterday 😀 (in relation to his bill about overseas land ownership)

    • BillODrees 4.2

      The common behaviour behind the three cases above is an excessive sense of entitlement. That is called Narcissism. 
       Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. This condition affects one percent of the population. It was historically called megalomania, and it is closely linked to egocentrism.

      In a functional organisation this behaviour is curtailed or the nutter is removed. Obviously the National Government is now extremely disfunctional. .  

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

      A good read for all political junkies.
       

  5. weka 5

    Bunch Of Fucking Hypocrites.
     
    I hope everyone realises the subtext here. ACC recipients are unfortunate people who’ve been working! and who deserve our support. WINZ beneficiaries are bludgers who should be grateful for their crumbs but they don’t otherwise have rights.

    • Carol 5.1

      Actually, weka, I don’t think it’s that straight forward. The ACC breaches are largely systemic, from within ACC – except for an email to/from Pullar.

      The WINZ breach was a deliberate act by the minister.

      • weka 5.1.1

        I think we are talking about different things Carol. I was meaning the message from NACT is that ACC clients are legit, WINZ one’s are scum.

        • Carol 5.1.1.1

          In the above article, I guess you mean, weka.

          But, overall, NAct’s approach has also been to treat ACC claimants as malingerers, unless forced to acknowledge otherwise.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I was meaning the political spin of late. I know ACC treat their clients very badly. It says something that I’d rather be a WINZ client than an ACC one.

  6. So if collins claims that the privacy breach in acc is just not acceptable,that should
    also mean that bene bennett’s privacy breach is also not acceptable and its even worse
    when bennett claims she will do it again.
    Our dear leader should have pulled her up and told bennett to pull her head in,however
    i’m thinking our dear leader will promote her for her attitude to those they have discarded
    to the waste bin when cutting jobs, people on benefits is a by-product of mis-management
    of the economy and the nact govts continued attack on those who have next to no
    representation in parliament.
    It is a nact party pass-time when in govt to attack beneficiaries and now the nact
    party goes on full out attack mode even threatening exposure to the media if anyone
    should speak out against anything they feel unjust.
    Dictatorship rules in nz under nact.

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    What is our Bill of Rights worth if it can’t protect our privacy from MP’s like Bully Bennett?

  8. xtasy 8

    The truth is, National will not discipline or even sack Bennett, unless she commits a more serious offence, which would result in her ending up before a court.

    They have tasked her with the most ruthless welfare reforms since the ones implemented in the early 1990s, she is the front person to soon announce the second phase of radical changes to welfare, changing the whole setup and regime, including an even more “relentless” focus on work ability and pressure on even sick and disabled to ready themselves to do some forms of work.

    It is at the core of National’s agenda to see this through, and to have Bennett disciplined, demoted or even sacked now just does not fit into the plan.

    So nothing will happen, she is allowed to be a kind of bull-dog and will continue to be let loose to beneficiaries, budgeting services, advocacy services and others, who may try to hamper the further welfarce changes soon to be announced.

  9. mike 9

    +1

    No doubt Key has told her to not do it again, not because he gives a sh*t about anyone’s rights, but because he doesn’t want to have to sack her. Where will he find another Paula Bennett so he can carry on scapegoating and ignoring the needs of our most vulnerable? (Actually I think he grows these ministers in an underground lab beneath his mansion, but I can’t back that up.)

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      No doubt Key has told her to not do it again, not because he gives a sh*t about anyone’s rights, but because he doesn’t want to have to sack her.

      She’s electorate MP that got in by the skin of her teeth, if he sacks her there’s a high probability that National would lose a minister. Although they’d still be able to govern with the support of the Maori Party they wouldn’t be able to get their preferred policies through.

  10. mike 10

    Just felt like re-posting this for any of the rabid NAct troll out there thinking of trying to defend this woman with another sad “but it’s my money so I should be able to humiliate these people as much as I decide is appropriate” argument. They do seem to have gone rather quiet on this matter.

    Carol said:

    “And WINZ code of conduct guaranteeing privacy is just for show and really means nothing:

    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/your-rights-and-responsibilities/our-service-charter.html

    You have the right to:

    be treated with courtesy and respect
    cultural sensitivity
    use any of our services
    be given information about the services we offer
    be given correct information and entitlements
    be listened to
    be given fair, non-judgemental service
    have your information kept private and confidential ….

    … and more rights listed at the link.”

    mike said:

    (Imagined phone conversation between the head of WINZ and Paula Bennett.)

    “Hey Paula, you might want to read this… Yeah it’s on the WINZ website… Start your browser… Click on the WINZ icon… The yellow one… Yes I’m sure it’s there I made it hot button on your browser when I was last in your office… Got it? Go to our service charter… Yes we did put it on our website, it wasn’t my idea, sorry Paula… It turns out the Human Rights Commission was right after all… I know, so weird… Slow down, did you say delete it?… I’m guessing Carol from The Standard has already cut and pasted it… How do you want to play it?… OK so we just carry on with the ‘I do not agree with that view’ line until the spin team comes up with something better… I guess it’s worked fine so far… How about you start talking about drug-testing the peasants again?”

  11. Russel’s questions exposes what may really be in store for us in the future, especially those who ask questions or raise valid concerns. Paula Bennett represents the majority view in her Government:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/norman-reveals-threats-to-privacy-and.html

  12. schools4all 12

    NO!!! The letters wern’t COPIED to the employer. They were SENT to the boards of trustees and copied to the teacher and his/her principal. Hekia is making it seem much less insidious than it is by suggesting she replied directly to the teacher and copied in the board – which might be ok in some ciricumstances but that isn’t how it worked. No teacher who wrote received a direct reply. Replies went straight to the employer with the clear intention of intimidating the employee and discouraging them from exercising their democratic rights in the future.

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    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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