Information regarding privacy
The Privacy Act 1993 aims to promote and protect individual privacy and requires careful treatment of all personal information, and this law applies to the Early Learning Information (ELI) system.
Under sections 144A and 311(5) (a) of the Education Act 1989 the Ministry has the authority to collect information for the purposes of obtaining complete, accurate and timely information about enrolment, attendance, and teaching at early learning services.
Using information from the ELI system
The Privacy Act 1993 prevents the National Student Number (NSN), or other numbers such as the National Health Index number, or tax number, becoming a single national number.
Protecting the privacy of individuals
The Ministry of Education, together with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, conducted a full Privacy Impact Assessment for the ELI system.
Extensive security testing on the ELI system has been undertaken by the Ministry. All ELI data is encrypted as it is sent to the Ministry. ELI stores all data securely with the In Confidence security classification to New Zealand Government standards.
All activity on the National Student Index is monitored and recorded by the Ministry. Authorised staff members must not search for children who are not enrolled in the service they are employed by. The Ministry’s Code of Conduct states that misuse or disclosure of official information, which includes all personal information, could result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.
The Ministry strongly advises that early learning services put in place appropriate processes to ensure that the privacy of information for enrolled children is maintained.
Access to ELI data
Early learning services should limit ELI access to authorised users to submit accurate information to the Ministry, and to meet obligations for the careful treatment of personal information under the Privacy Act 1993.
Authorised users refer to:
Authorised users at early learning services are required to use a logon and password to access ELI. Authorised users can only access data related to their own service.
Early learning services are responsible for ensuring that information collected about individuals is kept private in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993. This includes information like names, date of birth and addresses. Early learning services should make sure that any copies of a child’s official identification documentation are kept in a secure location.
Under the Privacy Act 1993 each parent can request any information held about their child including the child’s NSN.
Overarching Principles of Use for ELI
The Ministry worked with the ECE Sector Advisory Group to develop seven principles of use for ELI. These describe shared responsibilities, access to data, timeliness, ability to correct errors, and obligations of the Privacy Act 1993. You can download the Overarching Principles of Use from the Resources page.
To find out more information about the Privacy Act and how to comply, go to: www.privacy.org.nz
Check out the Resources page for downloadable versions of the Privacy Principles Poster and Privacy Impact Assessment.