The exponential rise in data and technology will be a focus of a review of the Search & Surveillance Act 2012. Justice Minister Amy Adams has launched the review which will be jointly undertaken by the Law Commission and Ministry of Justice. The report is due back by 1 July 2017.
Production orders issued under the Act are regularly used by police and other enforcement agencies to require information from banks, telcos and anybody else who can provide information about a person’s finances and location.
The review will look at whether the Act is keeping pace with technology and therefore effective for assisting with law enforcement. Challenges include accessing protected and off-shore data. But the review will also consider whether the Act is working to protect against unreasonable searches and other rights of those being investigated.
Importantly, an amendment to allow greater power to the GSCB and SIS to assist with police investigations will also be back on the table.
Public submissions will be invited.
“Since the Act was drafted, technology and the way people use it has evolved. For example, smart devices, apps and social media now allow people to create, access and share huge amounts of information in an increasing variety of ways. Also, the use of cloud-based services has increased markedly."