On 1 December 2020, New Zealand’s updated Privacy Act will come into force. It modernises New Zealand’s privacy law, recognising the significant advances in technology that have taken place since the original Act passed 27 years ago.
The Act aims to better protect an individual’s personal information. It also means businesses and organisations that collect people’s personal information will need to take greater care of the information they hold. The main changes under the new Act include:
- making it mandatory to notify the Privacy Commissioner and any affected people of serious privacy breaches
- the introduction of compliance notices - the Privacy Commissioner will be able to require a business or organisation to do something, or stop doing something, if it is not meeting its obligations under the Privacy Act
- new rules when sending information overseas - a New Zealand business or organisation may only disclose personal information to an overseas agency if that agency has a similar level of protection to New Zealand, or the individual is fully informed and authorises the disclosure
- new criminal offences with fines of up to $10,000.
Now is a great time to check you understand your business’s obligations, and that your staff know them too. There’s a useful Privacy Act 2020 e-learning module that takes just 30 minutes to complete and runs you through all the major changes in the Act.
For more general information visit www.privacy.org.nz/2020.
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