69.1 Overall, the ALRC considers that the privacy principles, combined with the recommendations in Chapter 68 relating to decision making by and for individuals under the age of 18, provide adequate protection for the privacy of children and young people. This chapter highlights a number of particular issues and contexts in which privacy issues arise in relation to individuals under the age of 18, and considers whether any additional protections are required within the Privacy Act.

69.2 A key area of concern is the interaction between direct marketers and children, particularly in the online environment. The ALRC does not suggest a complete ban on direct marketing to children and young people. It is recommended, however, that the ‘Direct Marketing’ principle include additional protections for children and young people under the age of 15.

69.3 Another area considered in this chapter is the handling of personal information in schools. While the ALRC does not recommend any legislative change specific to schools, it is recommended that schools clarify certain issues in their Privacy Policies—in particular, the disclosure of student information to parents, and the responsibilities of school counsellors to disclose information to school management and parents.

69.4 Privacy issues in the areas of child care, criminal law, family law and child welfare are also considered. In these areas, the ALRC has highlighted some privacy concerns, but does not consider it appropriate to amend the Privacy Act to deal with them. Suggestions are made for further consideration of these concerns by other bodies.

69.5 Another area of concern is the taking of photographs and other images and, in particular, the online publication of photographs and other images. While the issues are not limited to photographs and images of children and young people, many of the examples and particular concerns have related to children and young people. These issues potentially raise problems of a criminal nature as well as concerns regarding invasion of privacy. With a focus on privacy, this chapter canvasses a number of reform options, but does not make any specific recommendations relating to the taking and publishing of photographs and other images. Instead, the chapter links to discussion and recommendations in other chapters that the ALRC considers will provide the most effective remedies, in particular the recommendations for a statutory cause of action for a serious invasion of privacy discussed in Chapter 74.

69.6 Another privacy issue affecting children and young people is the way in which the media handles the personal information of individuals under the age of 18. This issue is discussed in Chapter 42 in the context of the journalism exemption from the Privacy Act.