Menu
New Zealand privacy commissioner joins wave of Facebook criticism

New Zealand privacy commissioner joins wave of Facebook criticism

Claims Facebook has broken the law by declining a citizen access to personal information held on the accounts of other users

New Zealand's privacy commissioner has joined international criticism of Facebook, saying it has broken the law by declining a citizen access to personal information held on the accounts of other users.

In a statement, the commissioner said that after being notified of its complaint, Facebook responded that it did not have to comply with the body's demand for the information.

The commissioner "considers it necessary to publicly identify Facebook in order to highlight its demonstrated unwillingness to comply with the law, and to inform the New Zealand public of Facebook's position," the statement said.

The commissioner's statement said "the social media company said the Privacy Act did not apply to it and it did not have to comply with the Commissioner's request to review the information requested by the complainant."

The commissioner said its powers beyond demanding information were limited.

A spokewoman for Facebook said the company had investigated the complaint but had not been provided enough detail to fully resolve it.

"We are disappointed that the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner asked us to provide access to a year's worth of private data belonging to several people and then criticised us for protecting their privacy," she said.

"We scrutinise all requests to disclose personal data, particularly the contents of private messages, and will challenge those that are overly broad...Instead the Commissioner has made a broad and intrusive request for private data."

Facebook has come into spotlight over the past week over its handling of data from millions of users.

Lawmakers in the United States and Europe are demanding to know more about the company's privacy practices after a whistleblower said consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to target US and British voters in elections.

Cambridge Analytica has said it did not use Facebook data in U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign, and that it had deleted all Facebook data it obtained from a third-party app in 2014 after learning the information did not adhere to data protection rules.

(Reporting by Marius Zaharia in WELLINGTON. Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Michael Perry)


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentFacebooksocial

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments