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Research to ask if NZ should adopt US CLOUD Act

05 December 2019

A research project will look at whether New Zealand should adopt a United States law requiring information held in the cloud about individuals to be handed over for criminal investigations.

The project is one of four which will receive grants from the second round of the Privacy Good Research Fund, run by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says $75,000 was available for research and 21 applications were received from New Zealand and overseas.

The research will be completed in mid-2020 and findings will be made publicly available.

Tim Cochrane has received $6,850 for the project "Extra-territorial Production Orders: Should New Zealand adopt the US CLOUD Act?"

The project notes state that production orders require disclosure of information to government agencies for use in criminal investigations. They are often served on tech companies as they hold significant personal data. The research will assess how New Zealand should regulate extraterritorial production orders, given New Zealand law.

The United States Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) was enacted in 2018 in response to a case pending before the US Supreme Court relating to stored e-mails controlled by a US-based provider.

The CLOUD Act states that the US Attorney General, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, may enter into an executive agreement with another country if the Attorney General finds that the other country’s domestic law “affords robust substantive and procedural protections for privacy and civil liberties in light of the data collection and activities of the foreign government that will be subject to the agreement” based on factors listed in the CLOUD Act.

Other research projects

The recipients for the other three grants are (GST exclusive):

University of Otago (Department of Psychology): Understanding the privacy concerns of participants in longitudinal studies. This will interview participants from the world-famous longitudinal project, the Dunedin Study. $24,924 has been granted.

Victoria University of Wellington (Dr Cherie Lacey): Deceived by Design: The infuence of dark patterns on privacy on New Zealand. Dark patterns in digital technology aim to manipulate users into taking actions they wouldn't otherwise take. This project aims to understand dark patterns and generate insights into their use to support future regulatory frameworks. $21,687 has been granted.

Massey University (Erica Pearson): New Zealand Privacy Concerns Around Domestic Internet of Things. This aims to assess both the privacy concerns and privacy behaviours of New Zealand users of smart speakers. $23,838 has been granted.

Last updated on the 5th December 2019