A related issue for policy makers, given recent Queensland and NSW access to government information laws that adopt the existing Federal Privacy Act definition of personal information, is this recommendation and response:
"Recommendation 6–1 The Privacy Act should define ‘personal information’ as ‘information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an identified or reasonably identifiable individual’.
The Government agrees it is important for the definition of personal information to be sufficiently flexible and technology-neutral to encompass changes in the way that information that identifies an individual is collected and handled. The ALRC’s recommended definition continues to allow this approach and also brings the definition in line with international standards and precedents. The proposed definition does not significantly change the scope of what is considered to be personal information. The application of ‘reasonably identifiable’ ensures the definition continues to be based on factors which are relevant to the context and circumstances in which the information is collected and held. The Government proposes that this element of the definition will be informed by whether it would be reasonable and practicable to identify the individual from both the information itself and other reasonably accessible information."