(Image: AAP/Private Media)

As the federal government reviews privacy legislation, privacy and legal groups have sounded the alarm over a new bill that would make it easier for government agencies to share information with other government and non-government organisations, including businesses and researchers.

On Tuesday the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration held a hearing into the bill at which interim national data commissioner Deborah Anton argued the changes would open up existing data to improve government.

“The bill seeks to progress a necessary set of reforms to modernise [public service] data-sharing practices, to set higher and consistent standards, and to add additional transparency to ensure the public know what is being done with their data,” she said.