Ok, so I took a week off from blogging to sort out a load of property stuff that needed dealing with. But back to it now I guess!
There’s actually been some really odd Immigration Happenings going on while I’ve been distracted by the Yeasty Bully Boys – so I thought a bit of a catch up would be in order over the next day or so.
So, first on the catch up list – is what has happened to the Immigration New Zealand staff who were caught accessing client files they had n rights to access, and breaching their (your?) privacy.
Back in July it was reported that 50 INZ staff had been found to have accessed people’s immigration files without authority – and that of those – one had been allowed to resign. That was it.
Now it transpires that there have been 6 resignations, 4 sackings and 8 other staff have been given final warnings. By my count that leaves 32 staff known to be accessing private files unaccounted for.
It also appears that these privacy breaches account for about 200 Immigrant files – and yet only 12 people have been informed that their files were accessed for the amusement of the staff working there.
I guess the good news is that most of us simply aren’t interesting or rich enough to have our files accessed for the general entertainment of INZ staff – so for most of us any privacy breach is likely to be the result of sloppy work or a simple human error. However given the mass of extremely personal information included in Immigration files – health and character information, plus in many cases financial information – there really is no excuse for it to be “accidentally” sent to the wrong person.
The good news -in a way – is that Privacy Breaches at government departments have been in the spotlight this year – so there is a great deal of scrutiny on the issue. With any luck this will help ensure that government workers actually start taking it a bit more seriously, in case they end up on the next front page of the New Zealand Herald!