The Foundation issued an election challenge to the major Parties contesting the federal election on 9 October 2004. Responses were received from four of the invitees, with one party purporting to respond on behalf of both itself and the fifth, its coalition partner. The table below summarises the responses, and provides access to the letters that they sent.

Briefly, the Parties' positions on privacy matters are as follows:


Issue ALP Democrats Greens Liberals Nationals
Nature of Response Specific Specific Non-Specific Non-Specific None
1. Balance Privacy and Security Preserve Challenge the orthodoxy
Telecommunications Interception
Clarify Opposed, keep government accountable
Border Control
Seriously concerned, want amendments
Anti Money Laundering Legislation Comply with international standards, open and public consultation Carefully scrutinise
Identity Management
Seek balanced policy
2. Assess the Privacy Impact of Intrusive Proposals
Privacy Impact Assessment
Data Matching Guidelines
3. Strengthen the Privacy Act "work closely with the OFPC to ensure it is properly resourced" Yes
Review in progress Review in progress
4. Extending the Spam Act 'Opt-in' principle No. Yes, and remove exemptions for political parties and religious organisations
Banning of Unwanted Tele-Marketing 'Opt-out' Register only Yes
Regulation of the Use of Directory Information Consider Yes
Removal of Charges for Silent Lines Consider Yes
5. Cooperate with the States and Territories    
Health Information Guidelines only

Generally seek consistency and clarity, plus legislation re genetic information

Guidelines only Guidelines only
Surveillance, incl. tracking and location technologies Consistent national legislation Want major amendments to pending legislation
Other   "The Democrats do not accept that rights and liberties are a liability in the fight against terrorism – on the contrary, we believe they are a powerful weapon"
"The Greens are very supportive of the proposals, you outline"
"The Coalition strongly believes that every Australian has a basic right to privacy" The Liberal Party's response purported to speak for the Nationals too