The Privacy Commissioner has ruled that a phone provider cannot withhold the details of phone calls and texts on the pretext that the calls are made “to” the person requesting the information, rather than “from” the person requesting the information. 

The complainant had sought details of calls made to him and the phone provider had declined to provide those on the basis that those calls were not the personal information of the person seeking them, but rather the personal information of the person sending or making the call. 

The Privacy Commissioner ruled that the telecommunications information privacy code does not distinguish between incoming and outgoing calls and that all information was disclosable to the phone owner.  Upon receiving the Privacy Commissioner’s decision the telecommunications provider sent the details to the customer.

Alan Knowsley