The law is designed to protect individual privacy and the use of information about people. SCOUTS New Zealand is obliged to observe the Privacy principles set out in the legislation.
The Privacy Act 1993 contains twelve information privacy principles dealing with collecting, holding, use and disclosure of personal information and assigning unique identifiers. The principles also give individuals the right to access personal information and to request correction of it.
Information may only be collected for lawful purposes. In a Scout Group only personal information that is necessary for the management and work of the Group and the welfare of its members should be collected.
Collect information only from the individuals concerned or their parents or from a public source such as a telephone book.
When collecting information, make it clear why it is being collected, who for, who will use it, and who will hold or store it. Explain that individuals have right of access to information about them and have the right to correct it. Put this sort of information on all forms.
Make sure that information is collected only by lawful and fair means. Avoid any practice which might be seen as misleading or deceptive.
Safeguard all personal information and make it available only to authorised persons with a proper need to use it.
Individuals are entitled to know what information about them you are holding. You have to provide the information requested but you must make sure that the person asking for it is entitled to have it. There is an exception which allows you not to reveal confidential information of an "evaluative" type.
Take care that information is correct, up to date and not misleading. Make sure changes are made promptly. An individual is entitled to request correction of his or her information.
You have to do your best to be sure that the information is accurate and up to date before you use it.
You must dispose of personal information once the purpose you had for it has lapsed. If you want to keep an historical record of all Group members you should make this purpose known when you collect the information.
You must not use information for any other purpose than that for which it was stated to be collected. Make sure people are told all the things you might use the information for.
You must not disclose Personal Information except for the purpose for which it was collected. You cannot pass on information to anyone or for any purpose unless that is authorised by the individual or parents.
You can not give unique identifiers (usually numbers) to people unless that is necessary to efficiently carry out lawful functions.