New Zealand’s new Privacy Act comes into force

New Zealand’s new Privacy Act has come into force aiming to strengthen citizen privacy protections, as well as obligations for companies when handling personal information. The new act also gives the Privacy Commissioner greater powers to ensure organisations and businesses comply with the act. The changes introduced establish new privacy breach reporting obligations; if a business or organisation has a privacy breach that it believes has caused (or is likely to cause) serious harm, it will need to notify the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals as soon as possible. Also, an overseas business or organisation that is ‘carrying on business’ in New Zealand will be subject to the act’s privacy obligations, even if it does not have a physical presence in the country.