The Law Commission of New Zealand released a new report last week on Invasion of Privacy: Penalties and Remedies
The report recommends the enactment of a new Surveillance Devices Act
which would provide for criminal offences and a right of civil action in relation to the use of visual surveillance, interception and tracking devices.
The report also recommends some changes to the Harassment Act 1997
so that it applies more clearly to instances in which surveillance is used for the purpose of harassment; some new offences targeting voyeurism; and some changes to the law governing surveillance by private investigators. The report recommends that the tort of invasion of privacy should be left to develop at common law.
The Report targets only the most objectionable types of surveillance: it does not, for example, stop people filming in public, and does not attempt to limit the use of closed circuit television. There are also appropriate exceptions and defences to ensure that the new laws are not so tight that they harm other interests such as health and safety and the detection of crime.
Labels: government_New_Zealand, law commissions, privacy