Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
Compiled by Nigel Waters and Graham Greenleaf
Companies are offering free or reduced prices for computer equipment or internet access to schools in exchange for the collection of marketing information from their students, according to a study by The Center for Advanced Technology at the University of Oregon, Capturing the Eyeballs and E-Wallets of Captive Kids in School: Dot.com Invades Dot.edu. According to the study, schools faced with an increasing amount of pressure to provide internet access to students are being lured into these deals by companies, and school administrators approve partner-ships with such companies without being fully aware of the invasive practices of these companies. The study argues that allowing online profiling companies to begin collecting inform-ation on younger kids will be likely to mould the expectations of privacy they may have as they become older, and could lead to a diminished sense of the proper boundaries of personal privacy. The study is available at <http://netizen.uoregon.edu/documents/eyeballs.html>.
Source: EPIC Alert.
At his annual Privacy Forums held in Wellington and Auckland (11 and 13 July 2000) NZ Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane launched two new publications. A revised Health Information Privacy Code (still officially the 1994 Code) contains significant amendments and with a revised commentary. The Code replaces the Information Privacy Principles with a parallel set of Health Information Privacy Rules, and amounts to subordinate legislation under the NZ Act. The major change in the body of the Code is a new clause 7 on internal review and complaint handling processes. This requires agencies covered by the Code to follow certain prescribed processes, with maximum time limits. The clause has been designed to be consistent with the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, administered by a separate Health and Disability Services Commissioner.
The other paper released at the Forums is Privacy on the Line, a resource document in relation to privacy in telecommunications. The Commissioner intends to develop a Code of Practice for the telecommunications sector later this year, and the resource paper is a first step to generate debate and consideration of the issues, which range from caller ID to monitoring and interception, directories and itemised billing. The paper sets out the current legal position on these issues in New Zealand and draws on experience in Australia and overseas in regulating privacy in telecommunications as a special case. The need for sector specific standards, more detailed than the general privacy principles, is suggested to be related to the importance of telecommunications privacy for freedom of speech.
Australia’s proposed private sector privacy legislation would often prevent such abuses because of the disclosure principle (NPP 2), but not where one ‘small’ business buys another.