Greater safeguards for the privacy of citizens are undoubtedly desirable, but the Council for Civil Liberties doubts whether they can be best achieved by setting up a committee rather than by legislation. For example, we believe that there is a need for amendment of the Listening Devices Act, which gives undue authority to the Police Force to use bugging devices. Full details concerning the proposed New South Wales Government Committee on Privacy have not yet been made public. However, the Premier states that the Committee would:
- operate to prevent undesirable disclosures by, or between, departments and authorities;
- investigate relationships between government bodies and the public and the media. Unless these matters are very carefully defined freedom of the press and freedom of information could be jeopardised.
Annual General Meeting (October 1973).
'That the Council is concerned at the threat to personal liberties presented by the use, centralisation and cross-linkage of computer files on individuals, by commercial, medical, law, law enforcement agencies, government departments and instrumentalities, education and credit-control bodies.'