Has Privacy Laws Gone Too Far?

In the July Edition of Proformat News, Graham Jaunay, well known South Australian professional genealogist, talks about the latest records to be pulled from public viewing:

State Records of SA have withdrawn access to Series GRG21/1: 1885 Land Tax Returns. This series was particularly valued by family history researchers, not only because in one listing every land owner in the colony was listed, but because of the extensive information contained within the records. The material has been withdrawn because someone has realised that the South Australia Taxation Administration Act 1996 —Secrecy 77–80 Prohibition has certain disclosures that makes it illegal for the public to access this material compiled over 120 years ago in case someone’s privacy is compromised!

Privacy compromised from records 120 years ago, yeah right?? This is surely a sad day for those researching family in South Australia. But let’s hope this isn’t a precedent for other states for follow.

Most of Graham’s articles can be found on his blog, which is a great reference for those wanting to keep up with largely South Australian genealogy news. You can read his blog or subscribe to his monthly email newsletter to keep up with the latest news.

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