5 Dec 2014

Facebook cake hearing on ice

3:46 pm on 5 December 2014

New Zealand's first Human Rights Review Tribunal hearing on an alleged breach of privacy on Facebook has wound up in Napier with the tribunal reserving its decision.

Former NZCU Baywide employee Karen Hammond is seeking damages for alleged harm the credit union caused by taking an image of a cake iced with swear words about the company from her private Facebook page and distributing it to employment agencies.

Miss Hammond says that caused severe financial and emotional hardship and she was forced out of the industry she loved. She says she has suffered significant humiliation.

NZCU Baywide lawyer Andrew Harris argued today that nothing on the social network Facebook is private and can be regarded as protected communication.

Mr Harris said the credit union admits breaching a section of the Privacy Act, but did not accept that caused the level of harm Miss Hammond alleges.

He rejected testimony by the former chief financial officer Peter McAuley that the credit union's actions were driven by malice.

NZCU Baywide

NZCU Baywide Photo: RNZ / Peter Fowler

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