Even with the best of intentions, privacy breaches happen. It’s really easy to send an email to the wrong person, attach the wrong document, or save personal information in the wrong place.

If you identify a privacy breach, or if you think that you might have accidentally caused one, you must let our Privacy Officer, Sid Wellik – know as soon as possible.

Sid and his team will can help determine what steps might need to be taken. The first step is always containment: making sure that the information doesn’t go any wider than it already has. This might be as simple as asking for an email to be deleted. The next steps are to assess the breach and to consider whether anybody affected needs to be told that it happened. The last step is to consider whether there are any learnings that might prevent similar breaches happening in future. This process isn’t about finding someone to blame, but to make sure that all the appropriate steps are taken to right the wrong, as far as possible.

Here are some tips to help prevent privacy breaches:

  • Send links instead of files
  • Check and double check that email recipients are correct
  • Re-familiarise yourself with the ICT acceptable use policy
  • Be aware what might be seen on your screen, or who might overhear your conversations
  • When providing personal information on request, ensure the requester is entitled to receive it
  • When collecting information, be clear what it is for and who it might be disclosed to
  • If in doubt, seek advice first

Sid Wellik - NZ Sign Language Week and Privacy Week

Meet Sid Wellik, our Privacy Officer, as shares advice about Privacy Week using NZ Sign Language.  

Official quiz for Privacy Week

Give the Privacy Commission's official Privacy Week quiz a go. Hopefully we've helped you make privacy a priority this week. Now test your knowledge in amongst your teams. 

Download the Privacy Week quiz here [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Download the answers here [PDF, 1.5 MB]

You can download Privacy Week posters and other resources for your station via the Office of the Privacy Commissioner website(external link)

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