Empower people by giving them choice and enabling their access to, and use of, their data and information.
Where possible, give people choices and respect the choices they make
- People should be told, in a way that makes sense to them, what data or information is collected about them, how it’s used, who it’s shared with, and why, even if it’s used or shared in an aggregated or de-identified way. There will be situations where there are good reasons not to tell them.
- Consider people’s wellbeing and provide choices about what is collected, how it’s used and why, and whether it’s shared, unless it’s not safe or appropriate to do so.
- Extra care should be taken when deciding not to give people choices or not to explain to them how their information will be used and why, or when proposing to rely on broad or 'future-proofing' purpose statements or consents for potential uses that are loosely defined. Even when there is no legal requirement to tell people, transparency is important to trust and respect, and recognising people’s mana.
- If it’s not timely or appropriate to tell them beforehand, tell them afterwards — unless there’s good reason not to.
- When communicating with children and young persons, it's important to consider their vulnerability and the roles that their parents, guardians or wider whānau may play in supporting them.
Give people easy access to and oversight of their information wherever possible
- Encouraging people to see what is recorded about them is a way of empowering them and acknowledging that their data and information is part of their story and experiences.
- Making it easy for people to see their data and information can mean many things — from showing them what is written on a computer screen, to including them on email referrals to another agency (taking care to double-check email addresses), to providing information in accessible formats for people with a sight disability or limited literacy. The important thing is that people shouldn't have to rely on Privacy Act requests to access information held about them.
- Whenever possible, help people check, add, or correct their information.
- Help people access their information so that they can share it with others and avoid retelling their story.