Privacy Commissioner updates code of practice to allow faster emergency response

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Privacy Foundation NZ

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Source: Office of the Privacy Commisioner –

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has amended the Telecommunications Information Privacy Code (TIPC) to allow a state of the art system to gather and share automated mobile emergency caller location information. The system will help emergency services to respond more quickly by providing them with information about a caller’s location.

“In the last year, the Police recorded over 1,800 incidents in which they had to make a special request to a network operator for information about the caller’s location,” said Mr Edwards. “Quick and automated access to location information about emergency callers should help to reduce this figure.”

In addition to providing a lawful basis for the new system, the amendment places boundaries around what the information can be used for, who can access it and how long it can be kept.

Mr Edwards said “This system does not require individual consent, so I have required robust transparency and accountability obligations. I want the public and the agencies using this system to have confidence in it.” Mr Edwards noted that his Office was pleased to be able to move quickly to develop the amendment through its new consultancy service.

The amendment comes into force on 2 March 2017.