AboutMe is to privacy as FYI is to the OIA

The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner has launched a new tool, AboutMe, to help people request their personal infomation from a wide range of government agencies and businesses.

The Privacy Act gives people the power to find out what information an agency holds about them and to request a copy of it. This new tool just makes it easier to make the request. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner does not store a copy of your request nor does it see the response.

Non-personal and official information

One of the first questions asked is "Are you asking for personal information about yourself?" but it turns out that this is a bit of a trap – anyone answering no is told that this is the wrong tool to use. People wanting official information are told they can use the FYI site to request it.