Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Privacy Commissioner on Bennett

The Herald has finally got a response from the Privacy Commissioner on Paula Bennett's information thuggery:

Ministers and departments need to consider the Privacy Act when they release personal information, Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff says.


Ms Shroff did not say whether she believed a breach had occurred, but would consider any complaint made.

"When an issue is raised publicly, it will often require the minister to make a careful judgment about how far he or she can go in response," Ms Shroff said.

Considering a complaint she would look at "whether the person involved had authorised a minister to talk about their case publicly, or whether their authorisation can be inferred from their statements in going public with their case".

Another consideration was whether disclosing the information directly related to the purposes for which the information was obtained.

There are limits on what Shroff can say due to the fact that she will be judging any complaint, but her summary of what she would need to look at - whether there had been authorisation for disclosure and whether such disclosure was directly related to the purpose the information was collected for - is pretty damning. If those are the key questions, Bennett is toast. The only question is how much her bullying has cost us.