GoCard card information

Indy Griffiths made this Official Information request to Otago Regional Council

The request was successful.

From: Indy Griffiths

Dear Otago Regional Council,

I would like to to request the following information about the 'GoCard' system.

- Manufacturer name of the 'GoCard'.
- The model number/identifying information of the cards used.
- The method of storing the monetary value on the card.
- What type of data is gathered when a card is used to pay for a bus fare, and if so, how long is this data retained. (examples could include the date/time, bus ID, amount debited, etc.)

Yours faithfully,

Indy Griffiths

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From: Indy Griffiths

Dear Otago Regional Council,

I am still awaiting a response or acknowledgement regarding my Official Information Act request.

Yours faithfully,

Indy Griffiths

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From: Julie Allen
Otago Regional Council

Good morning Mr Griffiths,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Gobus system. This will be responded to by the 24th December 2013.

Regards
Julie Allen
Otago Regional Council

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From: Gerard Collings
Otago Regional Council

In response to your request for Information below.

 

I have considered your request in accordance with the Local Government and
Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and its amendments.

 

Unfortunately I must advise you in this instance that Council will not be
providing the information requested.

 

The information sought is being withheld under section 6 (a) and section 7
(2) (h) of the act.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

Gerard Collings

Manager Support Services

Otago Regional Council

Private Bag 1954

Dunedin

 

Phone:  03 4707494

[mobile number]

 

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Alex Harris left an annotation ()

I recommend taking it to the Ombudsman on the following grounds:
- the grounds cited do not appear to be relevant to all the information requested. In particular, its hard to see how disclosing the data gathered and how long it is retained for would prejudice either the maintenance of the law or the commercial operations of the Council. Its just a straight privacy request. Likewise the type of card used.
- s6(a), maintenance of the law: it is unclear what harm would be done here. Disclosure would not obviously e.g. threaten fair trial rights or police operations to detect crime. Insofar as it might, that harm must be shown to be "likely"; if its not obvious that it threatens those interests, its even less obvious that such harm would likely occur.
- for s7(2)(h) , they need to not just claim it prejudices commercial activities, but that such prejudice is likely to occur, and that it is not outweighed by the public interest in release. They appear not to have considered the latter (which is automatic grounds for complaint), and again its difficult to see what the prejudice is, let alone its likelihood. If the concern is that if they reveal this information, then the weakness of their security will be exposed, as recently happened in Christchurch, then that in fact points to a strong public interest in release, in that it enables the system to be made secure, and those responsible for the implementation of an insecure system to be held accountable by the public - which is precisely what the Act is for (see the purpose clause).

If this fails, then you can extract the information another way: a straight-out Privacy Act request for all information associated with your card. That should show what is collected and how long it is retained for, at the least.

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Indy Griffiths left an annotation ()

I've sent a complaint to the Ombudsman, mainly concerning the denial of my point about the data collection, the lateness of the reply, and that I wasn't informed about my right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman if I was dissatisfied with the outcome (section 18 (b), Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987)

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Indy Griffiths left an annotation ()

Just a quick update, Ombudsmen still hasn't started looking into this case so no word yet.

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From: Wayne Scott
Otago Regional Council

Dear Mr Griffiths,
We have had an enquiry, and discussion with the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to your request re Go Card information.
Further to the Council's original response to your request, I note the following.
- The Card name is My Fare 2K Classic
- The Council does not hold more specific information than that in relation to the card. That information is confidential to the supplier, Electronic Ticketing Systems Ltd.
- The monetary value is stored on an electronic chip.
- Data gathered is as you have suggested. The card balance is also recorded with each transaction.
- The data is retained indefinitely.

Yours sincerely
Wayne Scott,
Director Corporate services.

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Luke left an annotation ()

Their response isn't comprehensive or particularly explanative and its brevity only barely just meets a level of adequacy to answer your points. A long ten months to wait to get a paltry response from officials who are paid by the Otago ratepayers.

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