NSW Privacy Commissioner applauds the findings of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice Inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in NSW

Media release

The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act was written over 17 years ago, well before the invention of Facebook, the iPhone and drone technology. In a world of such rapidly changing technology the privacy protections afforded by the Act have, to date, not kept pace.

The Standing Committee on Law and Justice Inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in NSW, chaired by The Hon Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, today recommended that NSW introduce a statutory cause of action for serious invasions of privacy. The Committee went further to recommend a significant expansion of the powers of the NSW Privacy Commissioner to address claims of serious invasions of privacy.

The Information and Privacy Commission’s Privacy Commissioner, Dr Elizabeth Coombs, has been a staunch supporter of the need to implement a statutory cause of action to address serious invasions of privacy. Dr Coombs’ written submission, available on the Parliament of NSW website, supported the recommendations for the development of a statutory cause of action.

Dr Coombs said “…NSW was the second jurisdiction in the world to introduce laws dealing directly with privacy, so it is appropriate that today NSW again takes a leadership role and hopefully act as the catalyst for other Australian jurisdictions to take similar action. “

The development of a statutory cause of action, as opposed to reliance on common law remedies, is also supported by leading civil rights, privacy, legal and academic groups across NSW and Australia.

This is a win for those people who have had their privacy breached in unimaginable ways and then suffered further indignity in discovering that they had no right to recourse…” Dr Coombs said.

Media enquiries: 0435 961 691