A-G seeks views on surveillance devices

Consultation is under way on possible reforms to strengthen laws that manage surveillance devices and similar technologies.

A new consultation paper released by Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman seeks views on a potential staged approach to implementing civil surveillance reforms recommended in a Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) report, starting with criminal prohibitions on the use of surveillance devices and technologies in both civil and workplace environments.

Surveillance devices and technology discussed in the consultation paper include CCTV, tracking and digital recording devices, as well as recreational and commercial drones with advanced optical and audio recording capabilities.

While Queenslanders are currently protected by laws governing the use of listening devices in certain circumstances, under the Invasion of Privacy Act 1971, the consultation paper discusses more comprehensive protections.

The criminal prohibitions discussed in the consultation paper would regulate optical, tracking and data surveillance devices in legislation, as well as impose criminal penalties on the use, installation, and maintenance of surveillance devices without consent, and the sharing of information obtained from a surveillance device.

However, it is recognised that may not offer protection to employees who agree to an employer’s use of surveillance in circumstances where they may not feel they are free to withhold their consent.


This consultation offers an opportunity to express views on how to regulate workplace surveillance and find the right balance between reasonable workplace practices and expectations of privacy.

Submissions will close on 31 May.

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