Industry codes and guidelines

3.28 Various statutory and self-regulatory bodies oversee and enforce industry codes and guidelines which protect against invasions of privacy.

3.29 Commercial television and radio broadcasters are subject to a self-regulatory scheme under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth). Commercial broadcasting industry codes of practice include provisions relating to the protection of privacy.[46] The ABC and SBS are each subject to a separate code of practice; each of these codes also contains provisions relating to the protection of privacy.[47] The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has oversight of each of these codes of practice, however the ACMA has limited enforcement powers where a code is breached.

3.30 The Australian Press Council oversees its members’ compliance with its Charter of Press Freedom (2003) and Statement of Privacy Principles (2011).

3.31 Part IIIB of the Privacy Act makes provision for the development of privacy codes (APP codes). APP codes can be developed on the initiative of ‘code developers’, or in response to a request from the Privacy Commissioner. The Commissioner may also develop an APP code. The codes set out compliance requirements for one or more APPs. The code developer may apply to the Commissioner to have the code registered. A breach of a registered code constitutes an ‘interference with privacy’ under the Act, and if the breach is serious or repeated the Commissioner may apply to the Federal Court or Federal Circuit Court for a civil penalty order.