Digital Certificate (DC) security is vital both for practitioners and for LINZ to safeguard the use and integrity of Landonline – it is not a case of unnecessary bureaucracy.
As a practitioner with Certify and Sign privileges, you have direct access to make changes to the register. Careless use of your DC, or lapses in security around it, can compromise the system and your personal certification responsibilities under sections 27 to 29 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 and the Land Transfer Regulations 2018
As DC holders, you are obliged to adhere to the Landonline terms and conditions – Schedule 1 Digital Certificate user obligations.
You are responsible for ensuring that you, your staff, and your consultants and contractors, comply with user obligations as reflected in:
- rule 11.4 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (for lawyers) and rule 13 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Conveyancing Practitioners: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (for conveyancers)- A lawyer/conveyancing practitioner must take all reasonable steps to prevent any person perpetrating a crime or fraud through the lawyer’s/conveyancing practitioner’s practice. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure the security of and access to electronic systems and passwords, and
- Guideline J of the PLS Guidelines
You can delegate most office processes to your staff or IT consultants. However, you must never share or disclose your reference code, authorisation code, password or passphrase, even to trusted colleagues. You must enter your reference code, authorisation code, password and passphrase personally.
If LINZ detects breaches of security requirements, practitioners risk revocation of their DC and suspension of their account.
Common situations where a breach occurs
- The practitioner shares their reference code and authorisation code to allow IT to download their DC
- the practitioner knowingly shares their DC
- the practitioner gives their passphrase to the IT person or lets the IT person set it
- the DC is installed on more than one PC
- the practitioner shares their passphrase with others, e.g. colleagues or temporary staff who do not have their own DC
- someone other than the DC holder requests a password reset
Does your firm need more DCs?
One way to avoid a breach is to register more staff as users of Landonline. You can add other users by filling out the add individual form.