Immigration NZ is addressing privacy concerns

August 06, 2018
The details

There are Documents showing that the Immigration Department knew many months before that some advisers were responsible in the breach of  the terms of the website Real-Me. This is used by people to prove their identity. Immigration advisers must use this government site for filing the applications in support of clients. In this activity, more than one person is involved, to have access in the office, to the file of the applicant. They also share log-ins.

Immigration NZ is addressing privacy concerns

The issue

When there are advisers who work in companies and also have a back-up supporting staff. Such people can act on their behalf to load necessary information into Real-Me and also conduct a follow up. This is, in fact, breach of the terms of the site. When there is a sharing of the logins it is a violation of Real-Me's terms of use. There is privacy risk surrounding the access to information of the applicant. Furthermore, it can lead to a possible misuse of login credentials.

There is an option of sending applications.  It can either be on paper the method in use for the past several years.  Or they can send it online which is perfect for these immigration advisers. There is no need to share their Real-me account.


Besides there is argument regarding paper applications having some problems? There is a suggestion to the department to introduce the drop boxes again, which allow people to submit the application at the    immigration office in their local area.

The applicants will have to face inconvenience caused by returning to use paper; and they need to pay extra for the application. The risk of hard copy documents which are only transferable by using the couriers. This may result in  loss and moreover, it is time consuming. When the Immigration authorities of New Zealand thought of going online , they failed to think the way to attend the potential problems of the online system, by the using the Real-Me.

Privacy Commissioner 

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has also questioned the speed of going online prior to developing a better identifying system. The Office has made a case for addressing its concerns and urges the project to be put on hold.

New Zealand Immigration officials have decided to delay the visa applications process for the student, temporary work and visitor visas to go online until it satisfies the concerns raised by the Privacy Commissioner. Immigration New Zealand is working on arriving at a solution, and plans to complete it by next month.

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