This report provides the legal design of a tort to deal with serious invasions of privacy in the digital era, and makes sixteen other recommendations that would strengthen people’s privacy in the digital environment.
Context of the inquiry
A cause of action for serious invasion of privacy does not presently exist in Australian law. A person’s privacy may be invaded in a range of ways. Such invasions may occur with increasing ease and frequency in the digital era, when the mobile phones in our pockets are all potential surveillance devices, drones are becoming cheaper and more advanced, and personal information once put online seems impossible to destroy or forget.
This Inquiry considers how Australian law may be reformed to prevent and remedy serious invasions of privacy. However, it occurs in the context of other concerns about privacy, such as those raised by ‘big data’ and surveillance by governments and others. Indeed, it seems that privacy is rarely out of the news.