Police went on Trade Me to hunt criminals 1350 times

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Thursday, 12 July 2018, 8:34AM
Stolen goods and drugs were the key reason police wanted information about people followed by no delivery of goods. Photo \ NZ Herald
Stolen goods and drugs were the key reason police wanted information about people followed by no delivery of goods. Photo \ NZ Herald

Government agencies including police made nearly 1800 requests for information about people who use auction website Trade Me in the last year, a new report reveals.

Trade Me's annual Transparency Report shows 1795 requests were made to the company in the year to June 30, a drop of 14.5 per cent on the previous year and the lowest number of requests the company has had since it began reporting the data in 2014.

Police requests made up the biggest number of data requests with 1348 but that was down from 1559 in 2017 and a peak of 1840 in 2015.

Stolen goods and drugs were the key reason police wanted information about people followed by no delivery of goods.

Not all requests by police were successful with one in four resulting in no release of data.

Unsurprisingly the Auckland region had the highest number of data requests from police with 219 requests in the Auckland central area, 184 from Counties Manukau and 112 from Waitemata.

Outside of the largest city Wellington had the second largest number of requests at 238, well above Canterbury's 123.

James Ryan,Trade Me's head of policy and compliance, said the report reinforced its commitment to transparency and gave customers an insight into how it responded to requests for their data. 

"The recent global attention on data sharing has heightened public awareness around privacy and New Zealand consumers have a right to know how their data is being shared."

James Ryan, Trade Me's head of policy and compliance. Photo/Supplied.
James Ryan, Trade Me's head of policy and compliance. Photo/Supplied.

Ryan said Trade Me worked hard to release only relevant and necessary information. 

"We only release information when it's legally requested of us and we're satisfied it's appropriate. If we feel a request is too broad or insufficient, we push back and we did that 22 times last year," he said.

The number of "push backs" by Trade Me fell in the last year with Police ones down from 3.4 per cent to 1.1 per cent and government push backs down from 2.6 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

Trade Me's report said it believed the fall reflected an increase in the quality of requests received.

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