Federal government announces review of Privacy Act

The Federal Government today announced a major review of the Privacy Act.

The review, which will be undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) will examine changes in technology since the laws were first introduced.

Attorney General Philip Ruddock said the review was necessary given the rapid technological advances in information and communication storage and surveillance.

ALRC president Professor David Weisbrot said the review was crucial given the scope for greater intrusion of privacy.

"We potentially give away private, personal information every time we shop over the Internet or with a credit card, apply for a job, go to the doctor or other health professional or even enter a competition," Weisbrot said.

"There are now real issues as to how securely information is stored, how it is used and who has access to it."

The inquiry will also look at how to minimize the red tape burden on business which the privacy privacy regulations impose.

The ALRC is seeking public submissions and is expected to deliver a final report by March 2008.

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