New Zealand’s Privacy Act 2020 comes into force

The new Privacy Act has come into force in New Zealand. This new legislation strengthens privacy protections for citizens, 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. Among the changes introduced by the legislation, the Privacy Act 2020 establishes 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.