The draft bill proposed by the Labour opposition party states,
"At the moment, enforcement of the Privacy Act 1993 is
complaints-driven. People can complain to the Privacy Commissioner
about breaches of their privacy rights under the Act. But the
Commissioner has only limited powers to take action about breaches
of the Act of its own initiative. Such a system is not well suited
to addressing underlying systematic problems."
The draft bill aimed to give the DPA broader powers to audit
government authorities and issue compliance notices to ensure that
personal information held by public sector bodies is not abused.
The ambition is for the DPA to take a more hands-on approach to
data breaches to prevent security problems in the context of a
number of serious privacy breaches by government agencies
The draft bill proved unsuccessful in Parliament as the ruling
National Party have bigger plans for a more comprehensive reform
package of New Zealand privacy law, which will address the powers
of the DPA simultaneously with wider issues covered in the
Law Commission's 2011 review of New Zealand privacy legislation
(152 PRA, 8/8/11). Therefore, in spite of the negative vote, New
Zealand remains committed to privacy reform.
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