web analytics

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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    2 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    5 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago