Research Ngā Rangahau

Privacy: Interpreting the Broadcasting Standards Authority's Decisions January 1990 to June 1998


Download PDF:
Privacy: Interpreting the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s Decisions January 1990 to June 1998 PDF4.6 MB

Date published
:  1998


  • This review summarises interpretation of the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s decisions on privacy complaints for the period January 1990–June 1998.  


January 1990 –June 1992

  • Recorded the Authority’s approach to privacy complaints in 1990
  • The Authority released the Advisory Opinion (dated 25 June 1992) which promulgated the Privacy Principles which had been developed by the Authority at that time
  • The Advisory Opinion advised that the Authority intended to apply these principles to complaints that alleged a breach of privacy

June 1992–December 1996

  • Highlights the application of the Privacy Principles in the specific complaints
  • BSA Decision No 1/94 was appealed to the High Court (TV3 vs BSA [1995] NZLR 720)
  • Discusses the release of two Advisory Opinions which addressed an anomaly identified with privacy complaints  
  • BSA advised broadcasters of a procedural change which it intended to implement
  • Includes a discussion of some decisions on some complaints which resulted in the revision of the Privacy Principles, and this was formalised in an Advisory Opinion dated 6 May 1996  
  • This Opinion remedied specific shortcomings of the Privacy Principles in dealing with some kinds of complaints which involved an allegation of a breach of an individual’s privacy
  • Looks into the interpretation of the expanded Privacy Principles

January 1997–June 1998

  • Highlights variations in the factual situations to be dealt with and the increasing proportion of the total complaints received which included an alleged breach of privacy (22 out of 190 or 12%)
  • Substantial increase in both the number and proportion of complaints referring in some way to privacy
  • 15 of the 70 decisions issued between January to June 1998 (21%) raised the issue of privacy
  • Draws some conclusions about the Authority’s approach to privacy complaints since 1990, and raises matters which may well need to be addressed when it is decided that the Privacy Principles need further revision.