Privacy litigation – protester to take action against Melbourne Water

October 4, 2010 |

The Age today reports that Jan Beer will be taking Melbourne Water to VCAT claiming a breach of her privacy, presumably under the Victorian Information Privacy Act. The complaint appears to focus on data being collected via photographs and recording of Mr Beer’s movements.  If that is correct it is a very circumspect way of enforcing privacy rights.

Taking an action to VCAT for what is, or should be, a tortious or equitable claim is a poor alternative.  Unfortunately until the legislature decides to accept the VLRC report on privacy and creates a statutory right of action this is the only alternative. At the moment it would be very difficult to rely on equitable principles to claim a breach of privacy/breach of confidence.

The problem with bringing an action under the Act and through VCAT is the limited remedies available.

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