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Kia Ora from Aotearoa, the beautiful Maori-language name for New Zealand. It translates poetically to "warm greetings from the land of the long white cloud."

Looking out my window today, the long white cloud is looking a bit grey, but in true kiwi style, we have our sporting prowess to keep us smiling, despite the weather. Last time I checked, Team New Zealand was leading the way in the America’s Cup series against Oracle Team, and our provincial rugby teams were doing their bit to keep the touring British & Irish Lions international rugby team offside.

With all this sporting success going on, I jumped with joy and surprise that an article about privacy dominated the front page of our national weekend newspaper. Perhaps we were fortunate that the relevance to privacy was conveniently related to a sporting environment. Regardless of how it came about, we’ll take this favourable view of privacy on the front page and run with it, thanks!

The article focuses on the need for parents to be aware of posting photos of children to social media as is often done with photographic images taken of our offspring at school events or on the sports fields. What I was most encouraged about with this article, though, was that, in addition to raising awareness of this privacy matter and the rights of our budding scholars and athletes, we were looking at the issue in a community- and ethically minded way. We were asking parents to be “good digital citizens.” That has got to be a win for privacy in my scorebook.

Failing to be good digital citizens can result in an enforcement notice, even for the electoral office, as highlighted in the case recently in Hong Kong. Although no privacy breach was determined, Hong Kong officials received a stern assessment of their failure to protect the data of Hong Kong citizens, even though it is publicly available on electoral rolls. Citizens in China, on the other hand, are used to biometric images, such as photos taken regularly in their daily lives, and appear less concerned about the potential privacy invasion of these photos being shared.

I’ll let you mull over the use of photographic images and consider the differing responses in our region. Enjoy!


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