Commissioner John Edwards writes:
As New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner, I need to take a moment to tell you what this matter is really about.
The suggestion that I or my office want to trawl through Facebook users’ accounts in breach of their privacy is mischievous, misleading, and disingenuous.
Agencies that operate in New Zealand, agencies that collect, publish, analyse, manipulate and profit from New Zealanders’ personal information are required to comply with New Zealand law. Two and a half million New Zealanders entrust their personal information to Facebook. Facebook’s business model depends on extracting value from that information. The law that governs those activities in New Zealand is the Privacy Act 1993. The extent and nature of Facebook’s activities in New Zealand means it is required to comply with that law.
Rather than work with the Privacy Act, which neither throttles business and the digital economy nor unjustifiably exposes users’ personal messages and the like to my office, Facebook simply declared that the Privacy Act did not apply to it and that it would not comply with those legal obligations.
Give ’em hell, Commissioner.
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