Section 26 of the Privacy Act required the Privacy Commissioner to review the operation of the Act as soon practicable after it had been in force for three years. This review was completed in November 1998 and resulted in a 420 page report Necessary and Desirable: Privacy Act 1993 Review (generally referred to as Necessary and Desirable). This contained 154 recommendations for amendment or further study.
Section 26 also requires further periodic reviews. The Commissioner has submitted several short supplementary reports noting developments that might affect the recommendations. These reports included a number of supplementary recommendations.
Necessary and Desirable made some recommendations in relation to information matching but anticipated that a further specialised review of the information matching rules would be needed. The Commissioner undertook a supplementary review and submitted a further report in June 2001.
It is expected that some of the Commissioner's recommendations will be addressed in an amendment bill that may be introduced to Parliament during 2008.
To download documents please click the following links:
Printed copies of Necessary and Desirable can be purchased from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (firstname.lastname@example.org) for $40.00, for as long as stocks last.
Other material on the 1998 review
The 1998 review involved a series of stages of research, consultation and analysis. In the public phase of the review, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner released 12 discussion papers:
Four volumes of submissions:
volume 1 : DP1, DP2, DP3, DP4, DP5
volume 2 : DP6, DP7, DP8, DP9, DP10, DP11, DP 12
volume 3 : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
volume 4 : Part 1, Part 2 were received.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner compiled complete sets of all the submissions and some specialist compilations in particular areas (such as complaints, compliance costs, public registers and intelligence organisations). Photocopies of these compilations are available for purchase for $12.50 from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (email@example.com).
In December 1998 the journal Privacy Law & Policy Reporter devoted a special issue to the Privacy Commissioner's report: