Privacy Laws

The New Zealand privacy laws contain 12 Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) that require how personal information is to be collected and used. This also includes people’s rights to access their information and request that any errors are corrected. As an Amway Independent Business Owner (IBO), it is important that you are up to date on the current New Zealand privacy laws.

WHAT ARE THE NEW ZEALAND PRIVACY PRINCIPLES?
There are twelve Principles found in the Privacy Act 1993 (NZ) (‘the Act’). These principles apply to government agencies, local councils, businesses and individuals. There are some exceptions, but please bear in mind that an AMWAY Independent Business Owner (‘IBO’) is NOT one of them.

These principles cover, but are not strictly limited to, rules that regulate;

  • How personal information is collected;
  • Why personal information is collected;
  • How this information is managed and used;
  • Ensuring that the personal information remains secure;
  • The rights for individuals to access their personal information; and
  • Using personal information for the purposes of direct marketing.

WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION?
‘Personal Information’ can be classified as any information or opinion that identifies, or reasonably identifies, an individual. This includes, but is not limited to, a name, address, date of birth, telephone number, medical insurance and bank details, and opinions.

‘Sensitive information’ is a branch of personal information that carries stricter guidelines. This is classified as information or an opinion that includes, but is not limited to, an individual’s racial background, religious beliefs, ethnicity, political opinions, health information, sexual preferences and criminal records.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE NEW ZEALAND PRIVACY LAWS?
WHAT CAN OR CAN’T I DO WITH THE PERSONAL INFORMATION I HAVE ACQUIRED?

There are a number of important requirements imposed by the IPPs, including, but not limited to, that an organisation:

  • limay only collect Personal Information if it is necessary for a lawful purpose connected to the function of the business (Principle 1);
  • may only collect information directly from the individual in a lawful manner (Principle 2 & 4);
  • make available to the information to the individual upon request and any errors noticed must be corrected (Principle 6 & 7);
  • must ensure that any information collected is held in a safe and secure manner. If Personal Information is no longer needed, it must be destroyed (Principle 5);
  • may not disclose the information with the exception of certain circumstances, such as for the purpose the information was originally collected, where the source of the information if a publicly available publication, or where the individual authorises for the information to be disclosed (Principle 11); and
  • must take reasonable steps to ensure that the Personal Information they collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up to date (Principle 9).

IS MY AMWAY INDEPENDENT BUSINESS SUBJECT TO THE NEW ZEALAND PRIVACY PRINCIPLES?
Generally speaking, yes. Your business is subject to the IPPs if it directly collects and/or trades personal information. If you collect and/or disclose an individual’s personal information for a primary business purpose, then you are subject to the IPPs. Under New Zealand law, this includes information collected for invoicing purposes, or name and address to ship products to.

If your business does fall under the jurisdiction of the IPPs, you must follow the legal requirements on how the personal information is handled. This does not mean that you cannot collect personal information for your business needs.

CAN I USE CERTAIN PERSONAL INFORMATION TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH A POTENTIAL PROSPECT OR CLIENT?
Yes, but there are restrictions. Under Principles 1 - 4 of the IPPs, you must ensure that you are upfront and lawful with how you collect your prospect’s information. You cannot trick them into giving you any personal information. If you choose to use that information for another purpose, you must seek the prospect’s permission first.

At all times, you must ensure an individual consents to your use of their information.

THE NEW ZEALAND PRIVACY PRINCIPLES AND DIRECT MARKETING.
While the Act does not provide any specific regulations regarding direct marketing and privacy, the IPPs will still apply to any direct marketing activities. For example, there is a general blanket rule that any personal or sensitive information collected for a primary purpose cannot then be used for direct marketing purposes.

However, there are some exceptions provided in Principle 10 concerning the use of personal information collected directly from an individual. These include, but are not limited to, using personal information if it is publicly available information, for the enforcement of the law, or if the information is used in a way that does not in any way disclose the identity of the individual.

If a prospect requests to see the information you have available about them, you must comply and present all information directly regarding them.

It is important to remember that contacting a prospect where you have no existing relationship means you are also subject to the telemarketing laws and regulations. Please see our ‘Telemarketing and Do Not Call Register’ guide for more information.

WHAT PENALTIES APPLY FOR SERIOUS BREACHES AND MISUSE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION?
The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner cannot seek fines or prosecute offenders for any breaches. However, the Privacy Act thoroughly investigates the issues and aims for the parties settle the dispute between them. While the outcomes of the investigations are not legally binding, they are still to be taken seriously.

WHAT CAN I DO IF SOMEONE HAS MISUSED MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?
If the small business in breach is covered under the Privacy Act, a complaint can be made to the Office of the New Zealand Privacy Commission.

There are three ways to make a complaint:
1. Download a complaint form from www.privacy.org.nz and submit it;

Privacy Commissioner
PO Box 10094
Wellington 6143

2. Write your complaint directly to the above postal or email address; or
3. Via the privacy enquires line on 0800 803 909.

For more information, please visit the Privacy Commission website at www.privacy.org.nz.

MORE INFORMATION:
For more information, please visit the websites below.

*DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is not comprehensive and is only a summary of the important provisions concerning privacy. More detailed information can be found at the Office of the New Zealand Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s website located at https://www.privacy.org.nz/. Alternatively, please consult your legal practitioner or the Amway Legal Department regarding the privacy requirements for your Independent Business.