65.1 Chapter 64 sets out the special arrangements in place under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to allow for the use of personal information without consent in health and medical research. As discussed in that chapter, these arrangements are currently limited to the use of: personal information for medical research under the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs); and the use of health information for research, or the compilation or analysis of statistics, relevant to public health or public safety under the National Privacy Principles (NPPs).

65.2 This chapter considers whether these arrangements should be extended to include the use of personal information in other types of research in areas such as criminology and sociology. The chapter also considers the relationship between the research provisions of the Privacy Act and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research[1] (the National Statement), as well as the role of Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) in considering the public interest balance.

[1] National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Australian Vice Chancellors’ Committee, National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007).