The Privacy Commission’s report on the government’s demand for personal data is currently with MSD and will be publicly released any day.

Once we get the Privacy Commission’s report and MSD’s response, we will contact members with information to consider about the decisions ahead. Meanwhile MSD appears to be going full steam ahead to meet their July deadline.

Many thanks to those of you who have sent me copies of their letters to Ministers. They provide valuable information and serve to underline the day-to-day problems, risks and costs of handing over personal information in return for funding.

The media continues to have a strong interest in this issue. In a Dominion Post opinion piece, professor Rhema Vaithianathana, a health economist at AUT, says there is no need for personalised data. “De-identified data . . . give us everything we need and nothing we don’t.” In an article on Scoop, Tess Casey, chief executive of Inclusive NZ, says data in itself is no magic formula or silver bullet. “At the end of the day someone, somewhere still needs to exercise some judgement and make some decisions about what to do.”

The collection of personal data and what it’s used for is a matter that concerns all citizens. We will continue to speak out because privacy, purpose, risk and ethics are too important to be brushed aside.

Brenda Pilott, SSPA National Manager



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