Terms of Reference

Inquiry into the Privacy Act 1988

Terms of Reference

(a) the overall effectiveness and appropriateness of the Privacy Act 1988 as a means by which to protect the privacy of Australians, with particular reference to:

(i) international comparisons,

(ii) the capacity of the current legislative regime to respond to new and emerging technologies which have implications for privacy, including:

(A) ‘Smart Card’ technology and the potential for this to be used to establish a national identification regime,

(B) biometric imaging data,

(C) genetic testing and the potential disclosure and discriminatory use of such information, and

(D) microchips which can be implanted in human beings (for example, as recently authorised by the United States Food and Drug Administration), and

(iii) any legislative changes that may help to provide more comprehensive protection or improve the current regime in any way;

(b) the effectiveness of the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 in extending the privacy scheme to the private sector, and any changes which may enhance its effectiveness; and

(c) the resourcing of the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner and whether current levels of funding and the powers available to the Federal Privacy Commissioner enable her to properly fulfil her mandate.

For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3560
Fax: +61 2 6277 5794
Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au