We give our personal information to the government on the
understanding it will be held secure and not released to
We go about our work on the understanding we are not under
surveillance unless we are told we might be. Public places have
laws protecting CCTV recordings, but in the workplace the employer
has to inform everyone if there are cameras and people may be
We think we have a right to privacy in our own home without
being watched, but if there is a camera in the lift recording us,
we have to be told it is there.
Did the government breach privacy laws by disclosing private
information about its critic?
Section 202 allows for the release of protected information to
facilitate "efficient and effective delivery of a work-related
service" – but whether this is sufficient justification
to release personal data on critics of a government service could
soon be tested in court. It would be an interesting legal test case
on what the government can do with the personal information
supplied by its citizens.
The opposition has referred the matter to the Australian Federal
Police, arguing that the release of personal information on
somebody who had criticised the government was a breach of the
Secret filming of abuse by employee of nursing home
In the second case, where a woman had secretly filmed an
Adelaide nursing home employee abusing her bedridden 89-year-old
father, she took the shocking video to police. The ABC
7.30 Report showed the video when it covered the story.
Initially the nursing home accused the daughter of breaching the
Privacy Act, The Aged Care Act and the Video
Surveillance Act, but the crucial video evidence was found to
be admissible in court and the employee was convicted of aggravated
NSW surveillance law makes exception for violence, threats or
damage to property
In NSW secret surveillance comes under the Surveillance Devices Act 2007. Generally it requires
the user to notify people in the vicinity that there is a camera,
and that they may be filmed or recorded.
The law says it is generally an offence to record a private
conversation or film a location secretly, but there are exceptions,
such as recording threats or placing hidden cameras to record
It is legal to install surveillance cameras on your property,
but not in bathrooms or bedrooms without the consent of the person
It would be an offence to share that raunchy CCTV footage of the
couple in the apartment lift, be it privately to others or on
social media. It is not an offence to pass on footage that reveals
a crime such as violence, abuse or damage to property.
Concerns about privacy and data control are often cited as major impediments to the growth and wide adoption of Cloud.
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