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Prism furore provokes privacy law review

The Prism repercussions continue

In the wake of the worldwide Prism scandal, Australia’s Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC has asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to conduct an inquiry into the protection of privacy in the digital era.

The Government said in a statement that the inquiry will address prevention and remedies for serious invasions of privacy.

“As I noted in March this year, further work needs to be done on whether to create a right to sue for breach of privacy,” Dreyfus said.

“I am asking the Australian Law Reform Commission to consider this issue in light of changing conceptions of community privacy and rapid growth in information technology capabilities.

“The Government strongly believes in protecting the privacy of individuals, but this must be balanced against the Australian public’s right to freedom of communication and expression. Our privacy laws need to address future challenges and ensure people can take action against a person or organisation that seriously violates their privacy.”

Dreyfus said the Commission has been asked to ensure that the importance of freedom of expression and other rights and interests are appropriately balanced.

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