New Zealand Law Society - Changes to Credit Reporting Privacy Code from 1 July

Changes to Credit Reporting Privacy Code from 1 July

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A number of changes to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code came into force on 1 July 2019, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner says.

Changes to the Code are being made in three stages during 2019. The Privacy Commissioner says the intention is the give the credit reporting industry a period of adjustment to the new requirements.

The latest changes are intended to strengthen the rights of New Zealanders to get quicker access to their credit reports and access to credit scores for free. The earlier changes took effect on 1 April and the last round will be on 1 October 2019.

The Privacy Commissioner says the changes from 1 July are as follows:

Access to free credit score

Individuals will now have access to a credit score from the credit reporter, if the credit reporter has a practice of releasing such scores to subscribers. In other words, if the credit reporter is in the business of creating a score which characterises individual creditworthiness and selling to third parties, individuals are entitled to see that score.

Outer time limit for access to credit information

The outer time limit for giving access to credit information to an individual is now reduced from 20 working days to 10 working days. This reflects certain realities in this industry (that the information is already collated and ready to go to a verified individual at the press of a button) and to key objectives of the Code that relate to unimpeded and prompt access as a critical measure to promote trust and accuracy.

Permissible charges for expedited access

The Code generally requires subject access to be provided free of charge. However, a small charge has been permitted where a requester demands access within three working days (formerly five working days). This reduction in working days is approximately in proportion with the reduction in the outer time limited for granting subject access from 20 to 10 working days.