The author chaired two Expert Groups of the OECD including that on privacy, whose guidelines form the basis of the legal regimes in Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. He reviews the success of those guidelines and the defects disclosed by time and by the remarkable advances in information technology since the guidelines were adopted in 1980. He then explores the revival of interest in the protection of privacy in the courts as a common law entitlement, instancing the recent decision of the Australian High Court in the Lenah Game Meats Case. The difficulty which the common law faces in responding to the challenge of informatics is then explored by reference to the decision in Dow Jones v Gutnik concerned with liability for defamation on the Internet. Finally, the author considers two contemporary problems: genetic privacy and terrorism. On the latter, he concludes with a reminder of the need to uphold civic rights, including privacy, so as to ensure that the terrorists, although losing, do not win.