Tech­nol­ogy leaves pri­vacy laws be­hind

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - All copy pro­vided by Turner Free­man lawyers; turn­er­free­

PRO­TECT­ING your pri­vacy has be­come in­creas­ingly hard due to the rapid growth of so­cial me­dia, tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments and in­creas­ingly af­ford­able sur­veil­lance equip­ment.

From re­venge porn — where jilted lovers post sex­u­ally ex­plicit images on so­cial me­dia or in­ter­net fo­rums — to hack­ing scan­dals, an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple are suf­fer­ing emo­tional and financial dis­tress as a re­sult of breaches of their pri­vacy.

Tech­nolo­gies such as sur­veil­lance drones, which can fly over­head and film peo­ple in their back­yards and on pri­vate prop­erty, have be­come more af­ford­able.

In NSW, the fail­ure of the le­gal sys­tem to keep up with th­ese rapid ad­vances has sparked a par­lia­men­tary in-

Send your le­gal ques­tions to legal­help@turn­er­free­

Tune in to the Chris Smith Af­ter­noon Show on 2GB on Tues­days from 1.30pm where a spe­cial­ist lawyer will be avail­able to take ycoalulsr. quiry into the pro­tec­tions avail­able to help peo­ple keep their pri­vate in­for­ma­tion safe, as well as reme­dies for se­ri­ous in­va­sions of pri­vacy.

A re­cent ex­am­ple was a Syd­ney school­teacher who, af­ter un­der­go­ing gy­nae­co­log­i­cal surgery, re­ceived a phone call in­form­ing her that while she was un­der anaes­thetic, a nurse had used a mobile phone to take an ex­plicit photo of her gen­i­talia then shown it to col­leagues.

While it is a crim­i­nal act in NSW to pho­to­graph or film some­one’s pri­vate parts with­out con­sent for the pur­pose of sex­ual grat­i­fi­ca­tion, it did not cover th­ese ac­tions.

The hospi­tal ter­mi­nated the nurse’s em­ploy­ment but she was not charged with any of­fence.

Ear­lier this year, com­puter hack­ers in­fil­trated the data­base of adul­tery web­site Ashley Madi­son and re­leased the names, email ad­dresses and per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of mil­lions of users on­line.

Be­cause users of Ashley Madi­son don’t have to ver­ify their email ad­dresses, those de­tails in­cluded the names and de­tails of many peo­ple who had not signed up to the ser­vice — in­clud­ing the New Zealand Prime Min­is­ter.

The ac­tions of those on­line vig­i­lantes re­veal how eas­ily re­la­tion­ships, ca­reers and rep­u­ta­tions can be de­stroyed by pri­vacy breaches.

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