The New Zealand Herald reports that some finance firms are requiring loan applicants to sign waivers allowing them to acquire personal data from government organisations and private companies. In the last year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment received 20 requests for taxpayers’ personal data, the report states. Financial organisations may also gather private information from telecommunications providers and from past and current employers. In one case, a firm posted a customer’s name, date of birth and address online in order to find him. Assistant Privacy Commissioner Mike Flahive said posting such personal data online appears to breach the Privacy Act and his department is investigating.
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