Kiwis' Trade Me data requested by the Government

The Government has requested Kiwis' Trade Me data over issues including theft, homicide, drugs and child exploitation.

Trade Me's latest transparency report reveals information was requested 1366 times by Government agencies in the year ending 30 June 2019. 

"Like many New Zealand-based companies, Trade Me receives enquiries for information from Government agencies to assist them with their responsibilities to maintain the law," it says in its report.

The number of requests for Trade Me members' account data from police dropped from 1348 to 923 in 2019 (down 31.5 percent year-on-year).

Of the police requests, 231 were for stolen goods, 146 were for the non-delivery of goods, 145 were for drugs, 92 were for homicide or missing persons and 61 were for proceeds of crime.

Police enquiries on stolen goods were down 43 percent on the year prior, enquiries relating to drugs were down 49 percent and non-deliveries fell 33 percent.

"We work with the New Zealand Police to keep our site trusted and safe. Police help us ensure dodgy sellers are held accountable," Trade Me says in its report.

"Where appropriate, we are also happy to help them with their investigations to keep our communities safe."

The breakdown of police requests.
The breakdown of police requests. Photo credit: Trade Me / Supplied

Trade Me says it will only release member data to the police when they send in a legal request and it is satisfied the request is reasonable and appropriate.

"This year, 98 percent of police releases were made via the Privacy Act and the remaining 2 percent were made under a production order. Of these requests, 29 percent did not see any information released," says Trade Me's policy and compliance manager James Ryan.

Trade Me also received 443 requests from other Government agencies (other than police), 213 statutory declarations to support Disputes Tribunal proceedings and 48 requests from insurance companies.

"Transparency reporting is about being open and honest about the requests we receive for our customers' data," Ryan says.

"We hope that publishing this report gives New Zealanders insight into how we work with these agencies to keep Trade Me trusted and safe."