We live in a public age in which the free flow of personal information is increasingly exposed to serious invasions of privacy. Privacy protection is a growing concern in relation to how people use rapidly advancing technology to store and share their personal information with family, friends, organisations and governments. Many Australians’ daily interactions are conveyed by social networking websites and mobile phones, and can involve sharing personal and financial data online, often under the watchful eye of CCTV surveillance – but are our privacy laws and protections keeping pace with technological change?
Although people are able to complain about the misuse of their personal information to a national information commissioner, Australian laws do not clearly allow a person to take action against a person or entity that seriously violates their privacy. In light of the British media’s recent phone hacking scandal, should people’s right to privacy be at the expense of freedom of expression and the freedom of the media to seek out and disseminate information of public interest? Can a balance between these principles be struck? Is anything really private anymore?
Chapter 1: Privacy regulation and rights
Chapter 2: Communications privacy
Chapter 3: Privacy and the media
Worksheets and activities; Glossary; Fast facts; Web links; Index