Government halts collection of client data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and SSPA national manager, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through.

“This is a decision that will be applauded by NGOs,” she says.

The NGO sector has been campaigning against MSD’s requirement that service providers sign a contract to hand over their clients’ personal details, or lose government funding, described by the Privacy Commissioner as “excessive and disproportionate”.

Today, Minister Anne Tolley announced that new contracts will not require the collection of individual client level data until a new data protection and use policy is in place.

“This is a good decision by the Government and I congratulate ministers Anne Tolley and Amy Adams who we met last week,” says Brenda Pilott.

“The decision is in line with our recommendation that before any such requirement is included in government contracts with service providers, we need to work through the issues with all the parties involved.”

“We are very pleased to see that the Social Investment Agency will lead a working group with Statistics New Zealand and NGOs to agree on an approach that will provide the government with the information it needs without undermining the valuable work of service providers,” says Brenda Pilott.

“Statistics NZ has long experience on collecting and aggregating data without risk to matters of privacy and confidentiality.”

“We are looking forward to working with government on this.”