4.1 This chapter sets out the ALRC’s recommendation that a statutory cause of action for serious invasions of privacy should be contained in a new, stand-alone Commonwealth Act.
4.2 Locating the new action in a Commonwealth Act would ensure uniformity and consistency in the operation of the cause of action throughout Australia. Uniformity of law across Australia was consistently identified by stakeholders as important, particularly to avoid the unnecessary costs to business that arise from inconsistent legal regimes across the country.
4.3 In the ALRC’s view, the new cause of action should be set out in a new Act, rather than the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). The Privacy Act largely concerns information privacy, while the new cause of action is designed to remedy a number of different types of invasions of privacy, including physical invasions of privacy. Further, the Privacy Act has a number of exemptions which would not apply to the new action.
4.4 The ALRC recommends that a statutory cause of action for serious invasions of privacy should be a tort to provide increased certainty around various ancillary matters, such as vicarious liability. There would also be the benefit of more consistency, since the statutory cause of action would operate in concert with existing tort law.