The Government insists there are no systemic privacy control problems despite more people coming forward claiming breaches.
A Taranaki family involved in a battle for information with Child Youth and Family got a copy of their granddaughter's file six weeks ago, which included "extremely sensitive" information, and was sent in an envelope that had fallen apart. NZ Post had to wrap the 380-page file in plastic before it could deliver it.
The family also discovered the file contained information about a female relative, which they had not asked for, detailing drug abuse issues they knew nothing of.
CYF general manager Marama Edwards felt the couple's "wide-ranging request" had been met, but the method used to send it was a significant mistake. "As per procedure the request should have been put in a courier bag requiring a signature at the other end, or been hand-delivered. It was posted by a junior staff member who was not instructed on appropriate procedures."
And a Waikato ACC client was given a list of convictions that did not relate to him. "I didn't take much notice and then I saw the imprisonments. I thought, ‘I haven't been convicted 10 or 15 times, what the hell?' I rang Wellington and they immediately offered to come and pick it up - no way, it's gone too far this time."
A West Auckland woman also got information she did not ask for, after a spreadsheet with her husband's information included blacked out details of seven other cases, which she said could still be made out.
She travelled to the North Shore ACC office to let them know of the issues, but was told to come back in a week. The woman said the privacy commissioner's offhand response changed only when she said she was taking the complaint to the media.
ACC "regretfully acknowledged" the breaches but could not rule out more. "The corporation continues to work on improving its processes and systems. While good progress is being made in mitigating risks, some errors may continue." ROB KIDD
- © Fairfax NZ News
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