Monday, November 11, 2013

Granny breaches privacy laws

The release of LINZ real estate data says that it is given iaw the Privacy Act 1993 which says:

Privacy Act 1993 Clause 59 Public Register Privacy Principles …
Principle 2 Use of information from public registers

Personal information obtained from a public register shall not be re-sorted, or combined with personal information obtained from any other public register, for the purpose of making available for valuable consideration personal information assembled in a form in which that personal information could not be obtained directly from the register.

That's the law.  No for the privacy breach.

More than 7.2 million property records were extracted from Land Information titles and owners' lists. These records were combined using cloud servers to create a searchable database of property records.

Since the property titles data do not include addresses, a piece of custom software was created to identify and locate each property, while another extracted MPs' trusts, companies and declared properties from the Register of Pecuniary Interest.

Combining all of these tools resulted in a map of properties owned by every MP, both personally and through trusts, superannuation schemes or companies. 

After telling the world that they’ve merged two public datasets to get at the personal info, I look forward to Granny explaining that to the Privacy Commissioner.

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