Greens Oppose Information Sharing Bill

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 — 10:02 PM

The Privacy (Information Sharing) Bill was sent to the Justice Committee by 106 to 15 with the Greens and Mana opposing.

The House instructed the select committee to report back by June 15.

During the debate Justice Minister Judith Collins said the Government was rethinking the way the public sector operated and wanted greater co-operation in between agencies and between them and the private sector.

Different agencies had different information which, in some cases, if it had been shared would have saved a child’s life, she said.

Collins said the Privacy Act was not clear about what information could be shared and the Privacy Commissioner supported what was the Government do

The bill changes the exceptions to Information Privacy Principles 10(d) and 11(f) of the Privacy Act 1993.

It widens them to allow the use and disclosure of personal information from when there is an imminent threat to public health or safety or the life or health of an individual; to where there is a serious threat.

The bill also allows information sharing agreements to be implemented by Order in Council and to modify the application of the information privacy principles.

Labour’s justice spokesman Charles Chauvel said the law needed reform as it had been overtaken by changes in technology and society.

Chauvel said Labour would support the bill to select committee but had concerns about the bill that would have to be addressed for future support

Green Party MP Jan Logie said her party would not be supporting the bill as it would erode a core human right that there was an assumption of privacy in exchange for the “nebulous’’ prospect of improving public services.

New Zealand First MP Denis O’Rourke said his party would support the bill to select committee as information sharing amongst agencies was a good concept though concerns about privacy would have to be addressed.

The House rose at 10pm interrupting the second reading debate of the Taxation (International Investment and Remedial Matters) Bill.

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