16 May 2019

Benefit fraud investigations excessive - Privacy Commissioner

From Morning Report, 7:20 am on 16 May 2019

The Privacy Commissioner is blasting the Ministry of Social Development for excessive intrusion into people's lives.

An inquiry carried out by the Commission has found that the ministry has been misusing its powers when it pursues people it suspects of benefit fraud. Investigators have been collecting large amounts of highly sensitive information about beneficiaries, without their knowledge.

This includes text messages between couples, of a sexual or intimate nature.

Susie Ferguson speaks to Privacy Commissioner John Edwards.

Following this interview, we heard a response from the Ministry of Social Development's Viv Rickard. Listen here.