The availability of powerful new visual, communication and information processing technologies, able to integrate data cheaply, are making increased surveillance of individuals very easy. Miniaturisation of visual and audio equipment makes surveillance invisible.

The Australian Privacy Charter Council was established in 1992, under the Chairmanship of Justice Kirby, to develop a Privacy Charter comprising principles which would encompass and apply to:

The Charter was developed by a Council of 25 invited members with backgrounds in law, business, auditing, information technology, security, privacy, media and politics. The general principles and issues were agreed by the entire Council. The Charter was then drafted by a working party that met under the Chairmanship of Justice Kirby. Drafts were sent for comment to all Council members. In June 1994 a final draft was sent to representatives other relevant organisations and community groups throughout Australia and privacy advocates in Australia and overseas.

The Australian Privacy Charter was launched by Justice Kirby, Professor Graham Greenleaf and Janine Haines at the New South Wales Parliament buildings in December, 1994. There was significant interest from the media. The Charter has been discussed in numerous radio talk back shows and interviews. Newspaper items and magazine articles about the Charter and privacy and surveillance issues have been published. And television interviews about privacy and surveillance which have referred to the Charter and the issues it raises have been screened.

The goal of the Australian Privacy Charter Council is to establish permanent change in the practices and processes that deliver privacy protection for individuals. The Charter aims to provide:

The activities of the Australian Privacy Charter Council have been directed at:

The work of the Australian Privacy Charter Council has been supported and funded by the University of New South Wales School of Law, by Council members and from fees earned from briefing executives about the Principles, developments in privacy legislation and regulation within Australia and throughout the world. The Australian Privacy Charter Council was incorporated as a society in 1995.

Please send all enquiries to:

The Secretary
Australian Privacy Charter Council
Faculty of Law
University of New South Wales
c/- P.O.Box Q3 QVB,
Sydney, NSW 2000
Fax: +61 2 262 3553


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Last Amended: 4 November 1996

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