The Federal Government Wednesday announced a major review of thePrivacy Act.

The review, which will be undertaken by the Australian Law ReformCommission (ALRC) will examine changes in technology since the lawswere first introduced.

Attorney General Philip Ruddock said the review was necessary giventhe rapid technological advances in information and communicationstorage and surveillance.

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

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

“There are now real issues as to how securely information isstored, how it is used and who has access to it.”

The inquiry will also look at how to minimize the red tape burdenon business imposed by privacy regulations.

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