Rights and responsibilities: various

How should a school manage privacy issues including disclosure or correction of personal information?

Privacy is an important responsibility for school boards and staff members. Complying with the Privacy Act 1993 is not usually a complicated issue for schools. 

Schools must appoint a privacy officer to encourage and perform compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993.

Privacy officer – Legislation website

Handling requests from individuals

The Privacy Act provides procedures for individuals to request access and correction to their personal information under Information privacy principles 6 and 7.

When a request is made for personal information under the Privacy Act the school must make a decision and give notice of the decision within 20 working days.

The school must take precautions to verify the identity of the individual making the request and ensure only the individual concerned receives the information.

Usually personal information is provided in full to the person it is about, for example, in the case of a student requesting access to their achievement results.

Information can be withheld in limited circumstances.

Privacy Act, part 5 – Legislation website

Limits on disclosure of personal information – Office of the Privacy Commissioner

If a problem arises, contact NZSTA.

Resources

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Back to school FAQs – Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Privacy in schools (PDF) – Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Sharing personal information in Communities of learning | Kāhui Ako – Ministry of Education

Updated: March 2019

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