The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a Discussion Paper, Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era (DP 80, 2014).
The ALRC is seeking feedback from the community on 47 proposals for reform outlined in the Discussion Paper including a new Commonwealth Act that would provide for a statutory cause of action for serious invasions of privacy.
Proposal 6.2 specifically addresses health or medical matters, as a possible indicator of information for which there should be a reasonable expectation of privacy.
ALRC Commissioner for the Inquiry, Professor Barbara McDonald, said
“Privacy is fundamental to enabling individuals to live dignified, fulfilling, safe and autonomous lives. It underpins many other freedoms of the individual, but it is a right that must be balanced with other fundamental values such as freedom of expression and with other aspects of modern society from which we all benefit. The design of a new cause of action reflects the balancing of these competing interests in carving out a level of protection of privacy that would see Australia meet its commitment to international norms/standards.