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 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]