Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NSW privacy laws: new review before last review completed

Well those waiting expectantly for the long overdue statutory review of the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act (required to be tabled in Parliament by November 2004) can now relax (or tear their hair out) and wait for a report by the NSW Law Reform Commission.

The Attorney General has written to the Commission setting out terms of reference for an inquiry into whether existing laws provide an effective framework for the protection of privacy. Presumably the Attorney General’s Department will have the results of its work on the topic since early 2004 at the ready.

It should take about 2 seconds for the Commission to consider two specific questions raised by the Attorney General: the desirability of privacy protection principles being uniform across Australia and the desirability of a consistent legislative approach to privacy in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, the Health Records and Information Privacy Protection Act 2002, the State Records Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 1989 and the Local Government Act 1993.

The answers to these questions are simply yes, and yes!

There will be great deliberation about another question: the desirability of introducing a statutory tort of privacy in New South Wales.

The Commission has been instructed to liaise with the Australian Law Reform Commission which is reviewing the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) as well as other relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory agencies.

Don’t hold your breath.

If you were wondering why you hadn’t heard about this development last week its because its pretty hard to find. The letter from the Attorney General is on the Law Reform Commission website. It doesn’t rate a mention so far on the What’s new pages of the Government's Lawlink or Privacy NSW websites and we can’t locate any media release from the Attorney General.

No comments:

Post a Comment