Changes to the NZ Privacy Act and What This Means for Organisations

Changes to the Privacy Act 1993

Amendments to the Privacy Bill have recently been proposed and are most likely coming into effect by the end of 2019. The reform aims to tighten privacy protection and promote early intervention and risk management. Furthermore, the Privacy Commissioner will hold more authority over decision making and investigations following the reform.

The main changes to the Act include the following:

  • Businesses are obligated to report serious privacy breaches to the Privacy Commissioner.
  • If an individual has requested information held by a business, businesses cannot destroy it in order to avoid providing it
  • Businesses using service providers based overseas, such as cloud software, must ensure they are meeting NZ privacy laws.
Privacy issues in the workplace

Breaches to private information in workplaces are more common than we think, and can be caused by a variety of factors such as inadequate security, poor processes or purely human error (more).

With these new updates to the Bill, it’s vital for organisation’s to implement stricter processes to effectively manage and protect personal information.

Businesses must be committed to ensuring visitors to their premises are safe from harm.

A common process many organisations still currently have in place are manual sign-in books to manage visitors, resulting in major privacy risks. Depending on the amount of detail requested – personal information such as visitors’ full name, email address, phone number and place of work can easily be exposed, especially if books are left unattended.

What can organisations do?

Outdated paper-based processes evidently provides little to no security. A way to solve this is through implementing an electronic visitor management system – offering workplaces with a number of ways to deal with privacy issues:

  • Acquiring a visitor management system creates tighter security measures around visitor information. Your reception is the most vulnerable area in the workplace, so by having a digital system for visitors to log-in, their information will be securely stored where no other individuals can view it.
  • It increases visibility and accountability as you can see who has entered and exited your site at any given time.
  • Digital records are easier to search and keep track of. You can simply monitor who comes in and out of your workplace through your online database as opposed to pouring through piles of logs.

Working Wise offers a Visitor Management Module within our GOSH system, where organisations can easily track visitors and contractors in their organisation. Contact us now by filling out our online form or giving us a call on 04 499 0710 to find out more about our visitor management system.

As stricter laws around privacy are approaching, organisations must be proactive and start assessing how they are acquiring, storing and using information.

To learn more about the changes to the Privacy Act, click here.

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