New Zealand Law Society - Privacy code proposed changes would improve access to credit reports

Privacy code proposed changes would improve access to credit reports

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The Privacy Commissioner has released proposed amendments to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004 and invited submissions.

“The proposed amendments build upon the findings of an 18-month review of the operation of New Zealand’s comprehensive credit reporting system,” says John Edwards.

One amendment gives effect to a recently completed review of comprehensive credit reporting and selected other credit reporting issues. It is proposed to:

  • Improve arrangements for individuals to access their own credit reports by:
    • Providing a clearer right to credit scores, and
    • Requiring access to be given more quickly.
  • Enable individuals at risk of identity fraud more quickly to get a credit freeze from all three national credit reporters.
  • Raise the threshold for listing small debts from $100 to $125.
  • Prohibit bypassing the existing ‘no marketing use’ of credit information by credit reporters through various techniques or by use of related companies.
  • Allow credit reporters to use the credit reporting system to provide a service to subscribers to trace individuals to facilitate the return of unclaimed money.
  • Introduce the New Zealand Business Number as supplementary identification information.
  • Impose new requirements relating to quotation enquiries and assurance reports.

The other amendment simply corrects an error.

“The wide-ranging amendments seek to enhance the public benefits of credit reporting and improve privacy protections and individual rights,” says Mr Edwards.

“I encourage members of the public and others having an interest, such as credit reporters and credit providers, to make a submission on the proposed amendments.”

The information paper has details of the full range of proposed changes, and information about how to make a submission:

Information paper on CRPC proposed Amendments 13 and 14

Submissions are invited by 25 August for the substantial amendment. Details of how to make a submission are included in the information papers.

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