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New Zealand: Parliament passes new privacy bill

Law to come into force in December, updates legal framework for protection of information

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 26.06.2020
New Zealand: Parliament passes new privacy bill

ANKARA

New Zealand's parliament on Friday passed a “modern version” of privacy bill.

After 27 years, the new law, when enacted, will replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act 1993.

According to a statement by the parliament on its website, “the bill seeks to increase New Zealanders’ confidence that their personal information is secure and will be treated properly.”

The bill is a new legal framework for the protection of information, including the introduction of a mandatory data breach notification scheme.

It received unanimous support in the parliament, and the bill -- known as the New Zealand Privacy Act 2020 -- will come into effect on Dec. 1.

“The growing use of internet-connected devices, social media, e-commerce, and cloud storage means that large quantities of data can now be easily stored, retrieved, and disclosed anywhere around the world.

"While this has many benefits, it also creates new challenges for the protection of personal information,” a statement by the country’s Justice Department said.

The statement added that under new circumstances, the bill enhances the role of privacy commissioner, who is now empowered to make “binding decisions” on complaints about access to information, rather than the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

The Commissioner’s decisions can be appealed to the tribunal.

The bill was tabled in the parliament on March 18, 2018, and was subsequently passed on Thursday after the third reading -- with the first reading in April 2018 and the second in August 2019 -- according to the parliament's website.

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