Developments in Commonwealth privacy legislation for locating missing persons
Locating missing persons can be facilitated through access to personal information held by government, non-government, and private agencies. Legislation that authorises the release of personal information for law enforcement purposes is usually worded in relation to a criminal offence or breach of the law. As a result of numerous reviews of privacy legislation over the last ten years, an exemption has been created in the new'Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 for the disclosure by agencies of personal information, where a person has been reported as missing to police. This paper provides an overview of missing persons in Australia and discusses the development of the new exemption and whether this is the most effective way to allow access to information about a missing person.