Australian legal association the Law Council of Australia has said that new legislation which empowers the immigration department to collect more biometric data should face a privacy assessment.ComputerWorld.au reported on Thursday that representatives of the Law Council had appeared this week before a Senate inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015.Australia's minister for Immigration and Border Protection introduced the bill in March, saying that it will expand biometric data gathering at borders to tackle the threat of Australians seeking to travel overseas to fight with terrorist organisations like Islamic State.Officials said at the time that the bill aimed to create a simplified scheme to collect biometrics, particularly fingerprints, and include increased collection powers.However, the chair of the Law Council's Privacy Law Committee, Olga Ganopolsky, told the Sydney hearing of the Senate inquiry that it may impact on the travel and privacy of citizens who might not be suspected of contravening any Australian law or pose a risk to national security.The Law Council's written submission (PDF) to the inquiry argues that “the power to prescribe both a purpose for which personal identifiers may be collected and the collection of biometric data via regulation raises the potential for the scheme to go beyond the initial intention of the Bill and the Migration Act, without adequate parliamentary scrutiny.””Permitting the purposes and collection of biometric data to be increased by regulation is not sufficiently defined to allow people to know the extent of the restrictions on their rights and freedoms and for them to know their legal,” it states.The Law Council has recommended a raft of changes to the bill.In addition to the bill not being passed “until Parliament and the Australian community have the opportunity to consider the results of a privacy impact statement on the Bill conducted by the Privacy Commissioner”.The organisation's submission also argues that there should be amendments to “provide for additional security measures reflecting the sensitivity of the information collected and expressly address the requirement to notify the individual and Privacy Commissioner for data breach notification in the event of a breach”.The inquiry is due to table its report on 12 May.