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6. Conclusions

6.1. The Directive offers few easy options

Comprehensive privacy legislation which covers the six `core' principles and contains serious enforcement mechanisms something like those in Australia's Privacy Act 1988 seems to be the only certain way to obtain ready inclusion in the proposed `white list' of countries providing `adequate protection' for A25. The scheme proposed in the Attorney-General's 1996 Discussion Paper may well have covered all required elements. Ratification of Convention 108, even in advance of legislation, may be another route (and one that is in principle open to Australia).

Alternative approaches are all likely to result in considerable difficulties for companies and agencies wishing to obtain personal data from Europe:

6.2. `Compliance costs' - Is `adequate protection' the cheaper option?

At least insofar as companies wishing to obtain personal information from Europe are concerned, the Australian government's argument that national privacy protection should be abandoned because of compliance costs appears specious:

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