Media release from Marie Shroff privacy
Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff today issued a code of practice
that permits broad information sharing in the event of national
"When a national emergency strikes, response agencies need to be
certain whether they can share information with others," said Ms
Shroff. "The last thing they need is to spend time second-guessing.
And agencies that are planning for future emergencies have to be
certain what the law will allow them to do, so they can factor that
into their planning process."
"This code gives them certainty," said Ms Shroff. "Once a national
emergency is declared, it will allow personal information to be
collected, used and disclosed as part of managing the response and
recovery process. For instance, it allows personal
information to be collected and used to identify people present,
missing, or injured in a disaster zone. It also makes sure families
of those affected can be kept updated.
Immediately after the Canterbury Earthquake in February 2011, the
Privacy Commissioner issued a temporary code of practice to
authorise information sharing that would help with the
When the Commissioner evaluated the temporary code, it was found to
have been useful and practical. As a result, she decided that it
was important to have a code that would be triggered without delay
if a national emergency were declared in future.
The code and guidance material is available at www.privacy.org.nz.
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