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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22314
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I have been recorded on video using a cellphone by a work colleague

Customer Question

I have been recorded on video using a cellphone by a work colleague without my knowledge or consent, for the specific purposes of humiliating me. The colleague is a subordinate, over whom I am in charge. The video has been shown to multiple other employees and has resulted in me having to seek medical assistance for clinical depression. I am currently preparing to file a formal complaint against him pursuant to my employer's standards of conduct policy. Has he specifically breached the privacy act, and if so, which clause?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
There is stronger protection for you than the Privacy Act. This act is certainly applies but there is new legislation relating to the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. The act describes the principles asThe communication principles are—Principle 1 A digital communication should not disclose sensitive personal facts about an individual.Principle 2 A digital communication should not be threatening, intimidating, or menacing.Principle 3 A digital communication should not be grossly offensive to a reasonable person in the position of the affected individual.Principle 4 A digital communication should not be indecent or obscene.Principle 5 A digital communication should not be used to harass an individual.Principle 6 A digital communication should not make a false allegation.Principle 7 A digital communication should not contain a matter that is published in breach of confidence.Principle 8 A digital communication should not incite or encourage anyone to send a message to an individual for the purpose of causing harm to the individual.Principle 9 A digital communication should not incite or encourage an individual to commit suicide.Principle 10 A digital communication should not denigrate an individual by reason of his or her colour, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
I have set these out in full, because as you will see from reading these, taking this recording has offended against a number of these principles. This can lead to a criminal prosecution, which will be much more effective in stopping this and can be used in addition to the complaint to your employer and a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
This section sets out the next steps11 Who may bring proceedings(1)Any of the following may apply to a District Court for an order under section 18 or 19:(a)an individual (the affected individual) who alleges that he or she has suffered or will suffer harm as a result of a digital communication:(b)a parent or guardian on behalf of the affected individual:(c)the professional leader of a registered school or his or her delegate, if the affected individual is a student of that school and consents to the professional leader or delegate bringing the proceedings:(d)the Police, if the digital communication constitutes a threat to the safety of an individual.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you very much. I'm looking to include the relevant act(s) as references to my internal complaint, so that should be fine.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
Under sections 18 and 19 the District Court can then make orders requiring that the content be taken down and destroyed, and can also make awards for damages. I haven't quite finished pasting this so you had the whole picture. It can be a very strong remedy for someone in your situation
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.
You can of course continue with the complaint in your workplace, but citing this act to point out your employer that this is a substantial breach of the law. You can also make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner, who can also award damages

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