Aug 1, 2011

Privacy Eye: media paranoia distorting facts on privacy tort

The media as a whole have got to get over their desperate paranoia, writes Roger Clark, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation

During the last three years, the federal, NSW and Victorian Law Reform Commissions have all concluded that a statutory tort is necessary to deal with aspects of privacy that are currently unprotected in Australia.

Previous attempts at a reasoned discussion of the proposals have been thwarted by firestorms unleashed by media outlets. On July 21, the federal government took the opportunity provided by widespread revulsion at phone-hacking by journalists in the UK to announce a discussion paper to build on the 2008 Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

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One thought on “Privacy Eye: media paranoia distorting facts on privacy tort

  1. Gavin Moodie

    Thanx for this. Every argument against a tort of privacy I have read from the media – clashes with the freedom of the press, imprecise, requires an exercise of judgement, subjective, etc – applies equally to the tort of defamation. Yet Australia now manages a reasonable defamation law.

    Another argument mounted by the Australian at least is that the Government and political parties exempt themselves from a similar discipline, and they do indeed seem hypocritical.

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