INDEPENDENT NEWS

Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Published: Thu 30 Jul 2020 11:22 AM
Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information.
The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, and what might have prevented the information from being disclosed and what, if any, improvements might prevent that happening again in the future.
The deputy commissioner said the investigation, led by Mr Michael Heron, QC, found that sensitive personal information was passed to someone who was not authorised to see it, who then placed it in the public arena.
The breach happened after the then Acting Chief Executive of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, Ms Michelle Boag, passed on the information, without authorisation, to Mr Hamish Walker, MP. Mr Walker subsequently passed the information on to the media.
The report findings around Ms Boag, the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust (ARHT) and Mr Walker have raised privacy issues which are outside the deputy commissioner’s jurisdiction. Ms Quilter has therefore referred the report to the Privacy Commissioner. In particular, she has referred the actions of Ms Boag, the ARHT and Mr Walker for specific attention. Mr Walker’s actions may fall outside the jurisdiction of the Privacy Commissioner but that is for him to determine.
The deputy commissioner has also shared the report with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Leader of the National Party, who are referred to in the report and who may have jurisdiction.
In relation to matters under the Commissioner’s jurisdiction, Ms Quilter said the policy around the security of personal information within the Ministry of Health could have been tighter and the agency should have reviewed this earlier.
The Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, has assured the Commission that the agency is fixing the areas identified in the report for improvement.
“The Ministry’s policy should have been reviewed when the context shifted and it was not,” said Ms Quilter.
“I am not going to criticise the Ministry of Health beyond that when lives have been saved as a result of their actions on the broader COVID-19 front.
“The information should not have been placed in the public arena. The Ministry of Health did not place it there.”

Next in New Zealand politics

Adjournment Debate: Speaker Trevor Mallard
By: Hansard
Vaping Legislation Passes
By: New Zealand Government
On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report
By: Gordon Campbell
How Judith Collins stopped the bleeding
By: Horizon Research Limited
Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms
By: TVNZ
30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs
By: Horizon Research Limited
New Zealand suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong
By: New Zealand Government
Adjournment Debate: PM Jacinda Ardern
By: Hansard
Adjournment Debate: National Leader Judith Collins
By: Hansard
Adjournment Debate: NZ First Leader Winston Peters
By: Hansard
James Shaw Adjournment Speech
By: Green Party
Vaping Legislation Passes But Falls Well Short
By: Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy
ASH NZ Welcomes Vaping Legislation
By: ASH
Vaping Bill Passed, Now Consult With Business - VTANZ
By: VTANZ
Alt launches vape advertising campaign before ban
By: Alt New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media