Bravery to overcome bias

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner rejects racism and discrimination - conscious or unconscious, subtle or explicit. There is no place for such actions in our modern world.


We are proud to be an office established for the defense of rights, specifically the right to privacy. Privacy is often defined in terms of respect or dignity, of placing individuals in control of their lives, and of preventing arbitrary decisions made based on a person's statistics. A principle of mutual respect should be central to all aspects of our relationships.


The Personal Information Protection Act 2016 (PIPA), which established this office, states that any time personal data is used, an organisation must contemplate the nature of the data and the risk of harm to the individual that could arise from the use of the data. Then, it goes further, stating that certain details have a particular risk of harm, and it matters when an organisation uses these forms of data - this "sensitive personal information" is important enough to have explicit protections, forbidding its use in a way that would violate the Human Rights Act 1981.

"Sensitive personal information" means any personal information relating to an individual’s place of origin, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, sexual life, marital status, physical or mental disability, physical or mental health, family status, religious beliefs, political opinions, trade union membership, biometric information or genetic information. PIPA Section 7(1).

Privacy is an enabling right, important for a variety of social