Privacy Law deals with protecting and accessing individuals’ personal information. The Privacy Act 1993 regulates the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information, as well as individuals’ ability to access information collected about them. The Privacy Act applies to public and private sector agencies that collect personal information, including government departments, banks, insurance companies and employers. The Act also contains a mechanism for complaints to the Privacy Commissioner relating to breaches of information privacy principles.
The New Zealand courts have also recognised that individuals can bring civil actions for breach of privacy when private facts are publicly disclosed, and such disclosure is highly offensive – for example, disclosures of private photographs by the media.