S and Telecommunication Company [2011] AICmrCN 13

March 8, 2012 |

The Privacy Commissioner handed down a determination in S and Telecommunication Company late last year.


The complainant sought access to his/her personal information held by a telecommunication company.  The complainant believed that included correspondence with a law enforcement agency.  The telcom refused access and relied on NPP 6, the exception which provides that access would prejudice activities of an enforcement body.


The telcom claimed that access to the information would reveal strategies and procedures employed in law enforcement. The Commissioner accepted those reasons as being a valid reliance upon NPP 6.1(j).  The telcom was not obliged to reveal whether it possessed records from a law enforcement agency as such actions would prejudice the law enforcement activities of the agency.


This decision is not controversial. Interestingly if the intent of the complainant was to confirm or dispel a suspicion that he/she was the subject of interest by the authorities and that they were using or hoping to use telecommunications to monitor his/her calls or use records of those calls the exercise was successful even without sighting the documents.  Presumably the exception must be based on something substantial.  The complainant sought correspondence. The telcom refused to provide it citing NPP 6.1.  The only inference that can be drawn is that there was documentation which touched on or involved enforcement.




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