September 12, 2022
Police on notice over privacy breaches
The Privacy Commission believes systemic reform may be needed to stop the police unlawfully taking and hoarding photos of rangatahi.
Deputy commissioner Liz MacPherson says the commissioner issued a compliance in December ordering Police to stop collecting duplicate fingerprints and photographs of young people in custody, and of taking photos of young people in public places without good cause.
She says a follow-up investigation done jointly with the Independent Police Complaints Authority after complaints about Wairarapa police collecting photographs of rangatahi on the street found frontline police seemed unaware of privacy laws.
“Our recommendations to the police have been to improve their policies, their programme, their training, and to ensure police at the front line are really well equipped with guidance to allow them to make good decisions when they are confronted with a situation were they are trying to make a call about whether they should take a photograph or not,” Ms MacPherson says.
The Privacy Commissioner has ordered any unlawfully-taken photos should be deleted.