Passing Nicky Hager's banking records on to police has been a bad look, but in my view it's not a public relations disaster for Westpac.
Customers looking for a mortgage won't be avoiding the bank because of the reactions of journalists and the so-called chattering classes on Twitter.
Nor are people who are already wedded to Westpac likely to look elsewhere, given the notorious loyalty of bank customers.
Westpac was pilloried this week after the Herald reported the bank had given Hager's records to police investigating the mysterious Rawshark, source for his book Dirty Politics.
But in my opinion there has been some minor brand damage for Westpac, because the incident goes to the heart of two key elements of all bank brands: trust and privacy.
The Westpac case has implications for everybody's privacy rights but there are special issues for the media.
Journalists accept that police or other authorities can trawl through their bank accounts - if they can get a legal order. But in this case the decision fell to the subjective opinion of a staffer who, for all we know, knew nothing about the case beyond what the police told them.
One competitor said any decision on such a request for information should have been automatically referred to the corporate office and the internal communications office.
Westpac has changed its policy so it will confirm that a named individual is (or was) a customer when it gets a request. Any additional information requested will require the appropriate order or warrant.
Westpac external relations manager Chris Mirams advised media of the new approach to police requests, but declined to give details on the Hager incident or respond to the subsequent bad publicity.
The Bankers Association - representing all the big banks - says it is taking the issue seriously.
Privacy Commissioner John Edwards was unable to say whether he had received a complaint from Hager. The commissioner recently launched a transparency trial, under which organisations have to provide him with details when they have given information to police.
Plug 'N' Pray
A couple of weeks back I mentioned my latest trials and tribulations with new media technology as I use three streaming services - Lightbox, Neon and Netflix - as well as Freeview Plus. At any one time one of these will be suffering glitches in their software, the broadband service or some problem with the connections between the various devices.
I was encouraged to discover from more expert sources that it was the technology at fault, not me.
Technology commentator Paul Brislen says digital entertainment media services are in a transitional stage, between a period when the industry was focused on the early adopters, to one where it is now attracting the fast followers.
But the real growth will come when everything is clean and simple enough for the vast rump of consumers.
Young people who have grown up with new technology have an advantage, but it is not just about old versus young.
Another veteran tech-watcher, Peter Griffin, says: "I think a lot of problems come from the use of WiFi. Ideally, people need to be plugging straight into the TV with a cable."
The trouble, says Griffin, is that when problems occur, it's hard to know whether they are in the device, the broadband service or - more likely - the links between them.
"We are at that in-between stage - it's not easy to interact between devices in the home. The early days of web browsers were like that and there are more changes to come," says Griffin. "But we are getting to the point in the US where people can just push a button to make sure the linkages work."
Concert plays on, amid Radio NZ changes
Radio New Zealand plans to run more contemporary music on its online arm, but chief executive Paul Thompson insists it has no plans to duplicate commercial radio.
This column has previously reported that RNZ is taking a co-ordinated approach to music, which will have an impact on its fine music channel, Radio NZ Concert.
The online operation has been something of a star performer for Radio NZ. The broadcaster is not alone in that regard - online sources such as Spotify and iHeart Radio now provide a big part of New Zealanders' music diet.
But inside RNZ, changes to Concert are causing consternation. Traditionally, the station has attracted a small but passionate audience which has fiercely resisted change.
But the changes have have already begun. There will be some staff losses and more use of digital technology - but no more recorded material, says Thompson.
While some listeners will baulk at the changes, others will ask why the fine music audience gets treated so well, with $5 million in annual funding. They will ask whether other genres such as jazz, blues or country deserve a bigger piece of that pie.
Thompson acknowledges he has heard those arguments.
"RNZ Concert will continue to focus on classical music and on showcasing the live performances of the best NZ artists and orchestras," he says.
Radio NZ says Concert has a weekly cumulative audience of 127,000 people aged 15-plus, compared with 439,000 for Radio NZ National.