Public opinion polling and focus group work indicate that New Zealanders are becoming more conscious of the implications of data sharing and technology changes to their privacy, the annual report of the Privacy Commissioner says.
It says there are consistently high levels of concern about information about younger New Zealanders being shared online and through social media. Around two-thirds (65%) of New Zealanders are concerned about privacy.
The report says there is a clear message that data sharing is a potentially divisive issue for the community, and having the right safeguards in place significantly increases people's willingness to have their data shared.
Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says statutory independence is one of the most significant aspects of the Privacy Commissioner's role.
"It's something I regard as integral in building an effective watchdog for New Zealanders and important in the freedom it grants me as a regulator."