There is a widespread and systematic problem of ACC staff having inappropriate access to the files of sexual abuse survivors, advocates say.
One advocate believed her own privacy had been breached about 30 times by ACC staff clicking into her file, simply because she was representing a claimant they were managing.
The advocates’ concerns come after RNZ reported yesterday that an Auckland man left disabled by an accident discovered dozens of ACC staff had accessed an old sensitive claim he opened for childhood sexual abuse. It had been accessed hundreds of times since he closed the claim.
A sensitive claim file belonging to the man’s wife, who acted as his advocate, had also been accessed by an ACC investigator. The couple only made the discoveries after requesting digital footprints from ACC.
ACC has said every access to the couple’s sensitive claim files were justified.
It was a scenario that was “unfortunately quite common” victim advocate Ruth Money said. “It’s an utter breach of privacy.”
Money said she was not surprised ACC said all 350 accesses to the man’s file were justified.