Facebook 'expressed regret' around their handling of situation in face of accusations of NZ Privacy Act breaches

The Privacy Commissioner has met with Facebook bosses in the United States to discuss his concerns around privacy for New Zealanders.

Source: US ABC

John Edwards met with the Chief Privacy Officer and a Vice President of the social media giant in San Francisco three weeks ago, when he attended an Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum.

In March Mr Edwards slammed Facebook and argued it had breached New Zealand's Privacy Act.

He's now revealed the outcome of discussions at the meeting and said Facebook has "expressed regret" about how the situation was handled.

It came after Facebook refused a complainant access to personal information, held on the accounts of other Facebook users.

But the social media company hit back, and said they were protecting the privacy of those users.

"We are disappointed that the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner asked us to provide access to a year's worth of private data belonging to several people and then criticised us for protecting their privacy. We scrutinise all requests to disclose personal data, particularly the contents of private messages," Facebook stated at the time.

Mr Edwards said he has been assured Facebook will work constructively with his office in the future and said the meeting included "useful and productive discussion" about the clash.

He said Facebook has also given him assurances that it was investing in user privacy and making sure Facebook users are better informed about control over personal information.

Facebook has come under fire recently after it emerged the information of millions of users was used by consultancy company Cambridge Analytica.