New Zealand Law Society - Amendment to telecoms information privacy code

Amendment to telecoms information privacy code

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The Privacy Commissioner has issued an amendment to the Telecommunications Information Privacy Code, which will come into force on 2 March 2017.

The amendment - the fifth to the code - supports a system for sharing emergency caller location information, to assist emergency service providers to respond quickly to emergency calls.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says the amendment will allow a state of the art system to gather and share automated mobile emergency caller location information. The system will help emergency services to respond more quickly by providing them with information about a caller’s location.

“In the last year, the Police recorded over 1,800 incidents in which they had to make a special request to a network operator for information about the caller’s location,” Mr Edward says.

“Quick and automated access to location information about emergency callers should help to reduce this figure.”

He says that as well as providing a lawful basis for the new system, the amendment places boundaries around what the information can be used for, who can access it and how long it can be kept.

“This system does not require individual consent, so I have required robust transparency and accountability obligations. I want the public and the agencies using this system to have confidence in it.”