Whether you conduct business online or offline, and regardless of how you collect the information, you have access to personal information about your guests. The law makes it clear that it’s your responsibility as a business owner to make sure the information you collect is managed with respect. The Act is currently being reformed and is sitting before Parliament and this page shall be updated again once the reforms are confirmed. Further information about the reforms can be found:
The existing Act covers government agencies, local councils, businesses, and individuals. The privacy law doesn’t just apply to clients and customers – all personal information is covered, including information about employees. All organisations are required to have a privacy officer to deal with privacy issues.
As the Privacy Act is a principle-based system, it is not enforceable in court. An aggrieved individual must make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner alleging an “interference with privacy”. The Commissioner has no powers to fine or prosecute anyone or order an organisation to pay compensation.
The exception is Principle 6 (Access to personal information) which is enforceable in court if it relates to personal information held by a public sector agency.
New Zealand has different legislation to that of the European Union and you should also familiarise yourself with applicable General Data Protection Rules.
For a free template which you can modify to suit your business go to - https://www.shopify.co.nz/tools/policy-generator
The Privacy Commissioner provides advice and education on privacy, investigates complaints, evaluates new legislation that may impinge on an individual’s rights, reviews data-matching programs, and issues codes of practice.
The Act deals with the collection and disclosure of personal information. It’s more about information privacy than other aspects of privacy. The Act controls how “agencies” collect, use, disclose, store and give access to personal information. Personal Information is defined as information about identifiable, living people. Almost every person or organisation that holds personal information is an “agency”.
The Act has 12 principles that stipulate how information can be collected and used, and people’s rights to gain access to that information and ask for it to be corrected. Not all of these principles will be relevant to bed and breakfasts but a good many are:
It’s important to note that information such as a telephone number, physical address or an email address is not necessarily “personal information” unless it’s linked to other information which enables an individual to become identifiable.
The Act will not directly apply if information is publicly available or it was collected for marketing purposes.