Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
The first set of Case Notes by the office of the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane, was released in April 1994. The Case Notes summarise decided complaints, and identify government agencies when they are parties to complaints, but private sector bodies are not identified. The Case Notes take considerable care to identify the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993 (NZ), and other Acts, which are relied on to reach decisions, and are therefore a valuable guide to his interpretation of the Act. The Case Notes are a far more timely method of reporting complaints than the usual practice of including them all in an Annual Report.
Because of the high level of similarity between the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) in the NZ Act, the IPPs in the Australian Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), and the Data Protection Principles (DPPs) in the NSW Privacy and Data Protection Bill 1994, the NZ Commissioner's decisions are of particular relevance in Australia. Significant Case Notes will be reported, commencing with this issue.
Canadian privacy cases are likely to be of considerable relevance to Australia and New Zealand because of similar legal systems, and (in Australia's case) Federal structure. Significant Ontario cases will be reported, commencing with this issue. IPC Pricis, published quarterly by the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, contains catchwords or summaries of Orders and Compliance Investigations completed by the Commissioner's Office. Full text copies of the orders are available from Publications Ontario, Mail Order, 880 Bay St, Ontario, M7A 1N8. Cases determined by the British Columbia Commissioner have already been reported (see (1994) 1 PLPR 53) and Quebec case reports will be included in subsequent issues.
Where case reports from other jurisdictions are available and are relevant to Australian and New Zealand law, they will be reported where possible. Some UK decisions have already been reported (see (1994) 1 PLPR 32 and 53)