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Privacy has been valued for centuries but currently there is a resurgent interest in its protection as a result of new technologies, changing social norms—including new human rights discourses—and markets, including media markets that are increasingly focused on the commodity value of information. Overlapping with the resurgent interest in privacy is a related concern with the management of data flows, which may be as significant to government and business activities as the privacy of individuals. The legal frameworks that deal with privacy and data protection have a long history but are coming under pressure to adapt to a more complex modern environment.
Privacy and data protection experts Professor Megan Richardson and Karin Clark explore these and related issues, placing a particular emphasis on the justifications for privacy protection, justified limits and exceptions to protection, and the practical operation of privacy and data protection laws in Australia and comparable jurisdictions.
Principal topics include:
- What is privacy?
- Conceptual and legal definitional issues
- International and comparative privacy and data protection regimes
- Protection of privacy in general law in Australia and comparable jurisdictions
- The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth): regulation of personal information held by the private and public sectors
- State/Territory (especially Victorian) legislative regimes for the regulation of personal information
- Current topics in privacy law such as privacy and the media, privacy and health information, online privacy (including anti-spam laws), telecommunications and surveillance privacy
- Current reform inquiries and proposals and likely reforms.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of key principles of privacy law in Australia and comparable jurisdictions
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal principles
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to privacy law
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving law reform
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas, and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding privacy law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of privacy law.
Last updated: 3 November 2022