Principle 5: Privacy laws should be adaptable to technological change

2.30 The design of any legal privacy protection should be sufficiently flexible to adapt to rapidly changing technologies and capabilities, without needing constant amendments. At the same time, laws should be drafted with sufficient precision and definition to promote certainty as to their application and interpretation.

2.31 Several stakeholders stressed the need for law reform to be technologically neutral to avoid laws being rendered obsolete by rapid developments in technology.[56] For example, Google submitted that there is a need for flexible, forward-looking and adaptive data policies to ensure that society may benefit from the many beneficial uses of data analytics:

policymakers need to understand the power of data, embrace its utility, and carefully address the challenges it raises without sacrificing the potential it offers.[57]

2.32 The importance of flexibility and adaptability is reflected in the design of the statutory cause of action and the reforms to surveillance laws recommended in this Report.