chapter 4

Privacy — Data Protection

Personal Info

Defined

Personal Information is broadly defined in the New Zealand Privacy Act as "information about an identifiable individual".

—New Zealand Privacy Act

Whether you conduct business online or offline, you have access to personal information about your customers. Privacy is important to them, but it’s becoming harder to protect in an increasingly digital marketplace. In New Zealand, the Privacy Act provides rules for how to collect, use and disclose personal information. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner ("OPC") is the independent body responsible for investigating privacy complaints, educating stakeholders and influencing policy involving personal information. The law makes it clear that it’s your responsibility as a business owner to make sure the information you collect is managed with respect.

Privacy Principles

Principle 1 — 4

These principles govern how, why & where you can collect information.

Principle 5

This principle highlights the importance of keeping the information you collect safe.

Principle 6 — 8

The information you have collected should be accessible to the customer & correct and you must respond to requests to access or amend.

 

Principle 9

Information you collect must not be kept longer then is necessary.

Principle 10 — 11

The information you collect must only be used or disclosed for the reasons which you collected it.

Principle 12

This principle is only applicable if you are collecting "unique identifiers". This is uncommon for a shop owner.

Privacy laws seek to create a balance between your need to collect personal information and an individual’s right to maintain their personal privacy. The OPC provides guidance on how to comply with the privacy principles of the act and avoid receiving complaints. Be sure to inform your customers of the information you’re collecting, what it’s used for, where it’s sent and why.

This is best accomplished by implementing a well-crafted privacy policy linked from your website. If a customer wants to access or correct the information you have about them, they need to be able to do that. The privacy principles set out in the act are excellent guidelines for how to treat the information you receive. The OPC is an excellent and interactive resource for informing yourself about privacy legislation in New Zealand. In addition to clearly labeled information, there are checklists that will lead you in the right direction.

Respecting your consumers’ personal information can help build a strong and competitive foundation to your customer relations.

Privacy Policy Generator

Coming up with your first privacy policy can be challenging so we've created a handy tool that generates your own, custom privacy policy with the click of a button.

Click here to get started.

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