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Trade Me releases 7th annual Transparency Report, data requests down 24%

By Catherine Knowles, Tue 3 Sep 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The requests for New Zealanders data is down 24%, from 1,795 to 1,366 in the year ended 30 June 2019, according to the latest Transparency Report released by Trade Me.

Trade Me policy and compliance manager James Ryan says, like many New Zealand-based companies, Trade Me receives enquiries for information from government agencies to assist them with their responsibilities to maintain the law.

The Transparency Report details the requests for Trade Me members data from the New Zealand Police and government agencies.

Ryan says, “Transparency reporting is about being open and honest about the requests we receive for our customers data. We hope that publishing this report gives New Zealanders insight into how we work with these agencies to keep Trade Me trusted and safe.”

He says, “The company has been committed to producing an annual Transparency Report since 2013 and is one of just three companies to be awarded the Privacy Trust Mark by the Privacy Commissioner for their work.

“We create this report each year because it’s the right thing to do. We reckon more New Zealand companies should follow suit and be transparent with their customers. We know there are other local companies who receive a lot more requests than us and Kiwis have a right to know how their data is being shared.”

This year’s Transparency report highlighted different statistics around data requested by police, other government agencies, as well as the type of information requested.

According to the report, the number of requests for Trade Me members account data from police dropped from 1,348 to 923 in 2019 (down 31.5% year-on-year).

Trade Me also received 443 requests from other government agencies (other than police), 213 statutory declarations to support Disputes Tribunal proceedings, and 48 requests from insurance companies.

Of the police requests, the most information requests were in relation to stolen goods (down from 408 in 2018 to 231), non-delivery of goods (down from 217 to 146) and drugs (down from 284 to 145).

According to Trade Me, this year 98% of police releases were made via the Privacy Act and the remaining 2% were made under a production order. Of these requests, 29% did not see any information released.

Ryan says, “Trade Me’s Trust and Safety team work hard to release only relevant and necessary information.

“We only release information when its legally requested of us and were satisfied its appropriate. If we reckon a request is too broad or insufficient, we will push back and we did that 23 times last year."

The full report by Trade Me sets out the data by region and crime classification, according to the company.

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