Would a Statutory Privacy Tort in Australia Harm Valuable Free Speech?
3 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 15, 2021
The Australian government is currently looking at reform of Australia’s privacy laws including the vexed question of a statutory tort for serious invasion of privacy. But would stronger protection of privacy imperil valuable speech in Australia?
In this paper, five academics involved in privacy law reform argue that a tort of serious invasion of privacy, as recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission in 2011 and endorsed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its Digital Platforms Inquiry Report, would not only have benefits in providing individuals and groups with stronger and more transparent privacy protection including vis-à-vis media. It would help to protect them from the real threat of publication of personal information which could have a “chilling effect” on those wanting to criticise government agencies and other powerful figures – i.e. privacy is here a vehicle for free speech.
Keywords: privacy, tort, Australia, ALRC, ACCC, serious invasion of privacy
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation