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Asia Pacific Dashboard Digest | Notes from the Asia-Pacific region, 19 Feb. 2021 Related reading: Notes from the Asia-Pacific region, 12 Feb. 2021

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Kia ora koutou,

For many in the Asia-Pacific region, COVID-19 will remain top of mind this year as we grapple with surges in cases and the resulting lockdowns and other measures. Unpredictability is likely to be a feature of 2021 as it was in 2020. Here in New Zealand, our alert levels were raised this week (Level 3 for Auckland and Level 2 for the rest of the country) after the emergence of a small cluster of community cases. It appears that a short, sharp lockdown may have contained the outbreak, but it serves as a reminder that we mustn’t become complacent.

Privacy breach notification is in full swing, only three months after the new regime came into force, and many agencies here are starting to grapple with the difficult assessment of serious harm. Trade Me, NZ’s online auction platform, notified some 1,400 users last week their accounts had been briefly swapped with others, revealing names, emails, account balances and addresses to the wrong users. Trade Me was reported to have promptly notified both the privacy commissioner and the people affected.

The NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi), however, was not so prompt in its notification. It has been reported the agency only recently notified individuals of a privacy breach that occurred in November 2018. The agency stated that, while it did notify the privacy commissioner at the time, it was unable to notify affected individuals because of the ongoing investigation. The breach involved an employee unlawfully accessing the details, including driver license number, vehicle plate number, birthdate and gender, of 44 individuals. The police have now charged the employee, but reports suggest some of those notified were shocked about the delay.

Perhaps not surprisingly, privacy is hiring in NZ right now, with several exciting roles being offered for both senior and junior privacy professionals. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is starting to fill positions in its new Compliance Team. Remember, you can also check in on IAPP’s global job board if you feel like looking further afield.

If you think an IAPP certification might increase your chances of securing that next privacy position, take a look at IAPP’s official NZ training partner program of certification training on CIPT and CIPM for the coming months. Places are available to train in Wellington for both certifications in March, May and June this year.

Finally, our program of KnowledgeNet events for the ANZ region is coming into shape. I hope you’ll all be able to join a trans-Tasman event hosted by the Melbourne chapter 25 Feb., featuring the wonderful Rick Shera (NZ) and equally wonderful Melanie Marks (Australia), who will be leading a reflection on privacy in 2020. Our Auckland and Wellington chapters will soon be announcing events here in NZ, with a session on privacy by design, led by the well-known Jason Cronk, to be first off the ranks in Wellington 11 March. Keep an eye out for emails soon, and remember to update your IAPP email preferences if you don’t think you’re getting the right updates.

Until then, stay safe and well, and enjoy the digest.

Ngā mihi nui,

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