The ACC $250 offers

June 28th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Some of those who have been offered $250 compensation from for the privacy breach, have said it is not enough and they want more.

The problem is that it is not really ACC that is paying them $250. It is me and you, and employers and employees all around the country. It is not the staff or managers who made the breach, or the directors of ACC.

I don’t like my premiums having to go on privacy breach settlements. I pay them to help injured workers. Why should I have to fund mistakes by ACC staff?

Surely I should be given the choice to choose an alternative workplace accident insurer? Why should I have to keep funding a company that is a monopoly, and one that I can’t withdraw my business from?

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34 Responses to “The ACC $250 offers”

  1. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,065 comments) says:

    The ACC monopoly system seemed to work okay when a more competent government ran it.

    [DPF: Yeah, says the non employer who did not have skyrocketing premiums, and a huge undisclosed deficit Labour left for National to cover]

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  2. Mr_Blobby (108 comments) says:

    All really good to jump on the band wagon and say my privacy has been breached compensation thanks.
    But how badly was there privacy breached most, if not all, would have no idea there privacy had been breached. There was no publication of there names.
    So what is an appropriate remedy? I would suggest an apology letter would be appropriate. As for the person who facilitated the so called breach, what disciplinary action has been taken?

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  3. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    @DPF
    ACC will have a contingency fund available to them for breaches such as these, ie liability insurance, however the amount offered in settlement of breaches of trust committed by them is an insult and ridiculuos. People affected by these breaches are entitled to seek compensation and are best advised to take the matter to court, or in a class action, and seek compensation and costs.
    Once again with the sum offered ACC is demonstrating a complete lack of faith towards the sensitivities of it’s clients confidential information.

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  4. wreck1080 (3,732 comments) says:

    I rang acc once to see why my premiums increased by 40% one year.

    They blathered on about different groups etc, and that one of the groups increased.

    So, they didn’t really answer the question as to why they increased.

    I really detest ACC.

    I don’t need it anyway, since I’ve got private health insurance.

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  5. m@tt (588 comments) says:

    ‘I don’t like my premiums having to go on privacy breach settlements’
    How does that make any difference if it’s a public or private company?
    Privates insurance companies can, and do, fuck up royally on all kinds of things and end up paying out damages or settlements that they tried to avoid. Part of your premium, whether you are paying a private or public company, would go to paying for those fuck ups either directly, or more likely through simply contributing to a public liability policy or fund.
    If you were able to switch to a private insurer that doesn’t operate a contingency for this you’d be worse off in the long run when they folded.

    Mr Blobby. If your bank accidentally sent the last 6 years worth of your account and credit card statements to another one of their customers. Would you prefer they hid that fact from you? If not what would you expect their penalty to be?
    Would you be concerned at all about what this person, unknown to you, may have done with your details?

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  6. Brian Smaller (3,992 comments) says:

    From what I heard it was a name and address and a database indicator ( a Y or N). Pretty much nothing. I would tell them to take it or fuck off.

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  7. Mr_Blobby (108 comments) says:

    Interesting many years ago someone laid a complaint against me, for breaching there privacy. They were upset at the level of enquiry I went to whilst investigating a complaint they had made. I was positive that I was allowed to do what I did under the principle of the privacy act that allowed for the disclosure of personal information, if a matter was or likely to go before a court or tribunal which it did.
    I replied to the complaint with my reasoning and surprised when the privacy commissioner accepted the complaint and decided to investigate, because of the work load, this was going to take in excess of 2 years for an investigator to be assigned. As an interest I asked if a complaint was upheld what the penalty would be. That was dependant on the degree of the breach. In my case it would probably be an apology. Just over 2 years latter I was contacted by an investigator from the privacy commission, I resent my original submission and left it at that. Some months later I got a letter saying that they had not been able to locate the complainant and the case was being closed. Note no decision was made.
    My point is that the, general perception is about absolute privacy of the individual. This is used by companies, Government departments and all number of official bodies as an excuse not to do something. When the act allows for the disclosure of information for a number of legitimate reasons.
    It should have been more correctly named “The release of private information Act”

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  8. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    The ACC monopoly system seemed to work okay when a more competent government ran it.

    Earner Premium rates:
    0.7% in 1996
    1.1% in 2001
    1.3% in 2006
    1.4% in 2008
    1.7% in 2009
    2.04% in 2010
    1.7% this year.

    The 2009 rate would have been set by Labour as it was escalating. How far back was a more competent government?

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  9. Angt27 (2 comments) says:

    Apparently there were lots of incest and sexual abuse victims on the list. Those parties would have been extremely concerned that it was apparent from the information what happened to them. they would have spent weeks wondering what Bronwyn Pullar meant to do with the information. If that’s the case, then $250 is just insulting.

    Regardless, I suspect that considering the succession of privacy breaches at ACC, most affected parties would prefer to be invited to a power point presentation where ACC clearly demonstrates a new system to prevent such breaches happening in the future.

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  10. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    @Pete George – my other business insurances have been climbing at a rate of 3-4% per year, by comparison ACC rate increases seem reasonable, they also seem less than the rate of inflation.

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  11. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    That the list got sent to someone outside ACC is one thing. The other question is why have a secure sensitive claims unit then circulate those client names throughout ACC? Does a summary of cases in dispute need names?

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  12. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    So as an employer and an employee Im subject to two levels of extortion by the Gumint whose agency then cocks up big time and decided to pay compensation that comes out………… my pocket twice.

    ACC is NOT nad hasnt for several decades been the creature envisage by Woodhouse. It have morphed into a beast of prey a play thing for Gumints the directors of ACC and those that work in ACC from the CEO down.

    They steal money off me and then give it to the wrong people whilst denying payments to the right people cause thats how I see ACC

    Everything about is bad. Its governance its management its financial controls.

    Its needs to be closed down and a new agency set up. I will volunteer to run it. It will be run on equitable and good governance principles.

    It will have prudent fiscal management. It will employ people who are civil servants with emphasis on the civil and on the servants.

    Let me at it.

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  13. tvb (4,208 comments) says:

    $250 is an insult. A joke in fact. It shows contempt and that the corporation still does not get it regarding the gross breach of trust that was placed in their stewardship of highly confidential information. Yes heads have rolled. But ACC is a monster.

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  14. Mr_Blobby (108 comments) says:

    Tvb you are the joke. A mistake happened no body was hurt, say sorry and move on, get over it. In the overall scheme of things it is just not that important. The sun will come up in the morning and the world will continue to rotate.

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  15. GPT1 (2,090 comments) says:

    One News seem to have taken the following positions:
    1. There has been a privacy breach – outrage
    2. There will be massive settlements – outrage
    3. There will be small settlements – outrage
    4. ACC won’t talk about privacy breaches – outrage

    Frankly, if I got sent someone’s stuff by accident I would email them back and say I’ve deleted it you might want to double check your systems and forget about it.

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  16. wreck1080 (3,732 comments) says:

    I’d imagine $250 for a minor injury is OK, and they got free treatment to boot.

    Lets take a look at actual damage…. none…the situation was contained, Pullar destroyed the files (you cannot return an email) , and no names or details were released.

    People just expect cash all the time. greedy greedy greedy.

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  17. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    The ACC monopoly system seemed to work okay when a more competent government ran it.

    Leaving ACC billions in the red for the next government to fix up does not strike me as competent.

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  18. ArranH (14 comments) says:

    Let them show the damage the privacy link to one person (who seems to have given it to ACC and nobody else) caused. I can’t see that there is any. Lets not become a nation where people demand payment everytime something happens.

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  19. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    Frankly, if I got sent someone’s stuff by accident I would email them back and say I’ve deleted it you might want to double check your systems and forget about it.

    That’s happened to me – by fax and by email – and I did exactly that.

    People and organisations have a responsibility to distribute private information with care.

    People receiving the wrong information also have a responsibility – and that is not to get on the telly and expect a big payout.

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  20. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    How does that make any difference if it’s a public or private company?

    Well, for starters you’re confusing a monopoly with asset sales. No ones talking about selling ACC – although if competition was allowed the arse would surely fall out of the ACC organization – just providing competition for it, now if there was competition you’d at least have the option of changing providers if you didn’t like their service or their behavior…..

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  21. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    ArranH Says:
    Lets not become a nation where people demand payment everytime something happens.

    We have already become a media led, media fed quick fix instant fame fortune seeking society, to an extent.

    I don’t like it at all. I thought of going to the media about it but…

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  22. Linda Reid (396 comments) says:

    How does paying money (any amount) fix the problem?

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  23. Mr_Blobby (108 comments) says:

    Linda it doesn’t, we have a growing sector of society that has a disease called entitleitis. The overpowering need to be constantly pandered to and apologized for. Why we have to celebrate stupidity is beyond me.

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  24. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    Let’s take it back one step. Look at the information that was released. Names and numbers, but no specifics. So a person is on ACC. Where is the shame in that? What damage is caused by making such non descript information slightly less private to the point where compensation is demanded?

    I would bet that if any of these people were on facebook, we would find out far more about them.

    In any case, there is an organisation that has my name, address and a coded number that is available on a public website! Every year, they issue a list that has these details for all to see.

    Dear Telecom, where’s my $250 bucks!!.

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  25. unaha-closp (1,112 comments) says:

    Why does ACC provide coverage to people and organisations who carry out sexual assaults?

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  26. trout (902 comments) says:

    ‘Yeswedid’ should have another look at those numbers. In the list quoted the earner’s premium increased year to year 57%,18%,7%,21%,41%,and -41% in the 2011 year when it was pulled back. Somewhat larger than inflation.

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  27. gump (1,488 comments) says:

    I wish people wouldn’t keep talking about $250

    The key figure is $1.5 million.

    Which is to say, the ACC is proposing to distribute $1,500,000 divided between approximately 6,000 clients.

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  28. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    @Gump The $250 was reported as only being offered to about 250 people not everyone on the spreadsheet.

    “ACC has posted letters to about 250 people whose cases are with ACC’s sensitive claims unit.

    This unit holds details of victims of violent and sexual crimes.

    The amount offered was believed to be in the low hundreds of dollars and was not being extended to others whose cases were deemed to be less sensitive. ” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7139541/ACC-payout-for-privacy-breach-victims

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  29. GJM (58 comments) says:

    ACC is the worst combination of an insurance company and social welfare. It does neither well – if it is an insurance co, where is my no claims bonus, experience weighting for the premium, and the choice of provider and cover?
    And why are sexual abuse victims on ACC – it (by definition) is no accident. Surely this should be a WINZ item?

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  30. simonway (371 comments) says:

    Why should I have to keep funding a company that is a monopoly, and one that I can’t withdraw my business from?

    Are you in favour of a public health system? It’s not a “monopoly”, but you can’t choose to direct your money away from it.

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  31. gump (1,488 comments) says:

    @PaulD Thanks for the correction. I appreciate it.

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  32. wynkie (86 comments) says:

    Love it, or hate it, fines for privacy breaches are the norm elsewhere in the world – as Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff made clear in this article on 12 March 2012. Strangely the ACC leak became public the next day.

    http://www.nzcs.org.nz/newsletter/article/284

    “More and more regulators and law-makers are taking a long hard look at penalties for companies or government agencies that are involved in a data breach. A recent EU proposal would see regulators able to impose a fine of up to 2% of global turnover. That’s right – a direct and painful blow to the bottom line.

    New Zealand proposals to date haven’t been that heavy duty, but the Law Commission’s recommendations about mandatory data breach notification would likely result in businesses sitting up and taking notice of their responsibilities in this area.”

    It doesn’t matter if you are public or private sector information is the next commodity, and agencies have a responsibility not to disclose if inappropriately no matter how bit or small the breach.

    The issue as I see it was strictly confidential names of sensitive claimants names (many protected by court suppression orders) being published around every ACC office month in, month out for several years, and

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  33. wynkie (86 comments) says:

    It seems it was not the external breaching to one person – who didn’t breach anyone’s privacy – that is the big issue. They merely pointed out a systemic problem – that was proven right over and over again.

    Rather it was the internal breach by ACC – the deliberate flouting Court suppression orders for about 2-3 years or more, by publishing strictly confidential names & distributing them nationwide within ACC every month, and not one ACC senior manager ever saw that as a problem at any point in time.

    They just really illustrates that no one in ACC appeared to have any idea about respect for privacy – but I bet they do now.

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  34. big bruv (13,311 comments) says:

    My god we really are a nation of bludgers. I would wager that most of the people who claim to have been victimised by this very minor security leak are some of the worst parasites.

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