Privacy Act 2020-New Zealand’s Privacy Law


On 1 December 2020, New Zealand’s privacy law came into force. This new law replaces the Privacy Act, 1993. This is an important step taken by the New Zealand government to be on par with the EU in terms of privacy laws.  

Some of the important features of the Act are as follows:

  1. The Act provides for the protection of Personal Information as defined in the Act. 
  2. The Act incorporates guidelines from the OECD and ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights)
  3. Scope of the Act: The Act applies to
  1. A New Zealand agency
  2. An overseas agency
  3. An individual who is not ordinarily resident in New Zealand but who has collected personal information in New  Zealand or personal information held by the individual in New Zealand

      4.   Personal information as defined in the Act means information about an identifiable

            individual; and includes information relating to a death that is maintained by the

            Registrar-General under the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration

            Act 1995 or any former Act (as defined in section 2 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and

            Relationships Registration Act 1995)

      5.   The Act provides for an appointment of a Privacy Commissioner who shall act


      6.   Similar to the Australian Privacy Principles, the Act also provides for Information Privacy


      7.   The Act enshrines the principles of access to information and correction of personal

            information similar to the GDPR

      8.   The Act lists the procedure of making a complaint by an individual in case of interference

            of privacy by an agency. 

      9.   The Privacy Commissioner may refer certain complaints to the Human Rights Review


      10. A serious privacy breach has been termed as a Notifiable Privacy Breach

      11. As per the Act, agencies can share information with each other by way of information

            sharing agreements

      12. Personal information from New Zealand cannot be transferred to another country.