3.1 This chapter sets out a brief survey of the existing legal regulation and remedies that protect people’s privacy in Australia. The existing legal protection of privacy in Australia takes many forms. Protection of the privacy interests of individuals can be found in regulatory schemes, criminal laws and civil or private law.

3.2 This is followed by a brief summary of the main gaps or deficiencies in the way that Australian law prevents or redresses serious invasions of privacy. In the ALRC’s view, the existing law is a patchwork, with some important pieces missing and inconsistencies between others.

3.3 An understanding of these gaps and deficiencies is important background to the recommendations in this Report.

3.4 This chapter concludes with an outline of recent case law in which the possibility of a new common law cause of action for invasion of privacy has been raised.