The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has determined that the police acted unlawfully in obtaining sensitive financial information about Martyn Bradbury.
Mr Bradbury made a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner earlier this year about a request from police to his bank for information about him.
Mr Bradbury, commonly known as ‘Bomber’ who edits the Daily Blog website, told a newspaper he uncovered the police probe after being rejected for credit by his bank.
“We investigated that complaint, and recently sent him our final view on the matter,” the office says in a statement.
“Among other things, we concluded that police had collected his information in an unlawful way by asking for such sensitive information without first putting the matter before a judicial officer. Our view is that this was a breach of Principle 4 of the Privacy Act, which forbids agencies from collecting information in an unfair, unreasonable or unlawful way.
“Our investigation, as with all our investigations, only addressed the facts of this case. We concluded that police action in this case constituted an interference with Mr Bradbury’s privacy.
“We are taking the unusual step of offering a public comment on this case, as the matter has been the subject of considerable public discussion, including claims of a ‘secret Police mass surveillance program against 100,000 New Zealanders’.
“We have no reason to believe that any such mass surveillance programme exists.”