Dr Anthony Lynham


Civil and workplace surveillance laws to be examined

Digital Surveilance

9 August, 2018 –

The Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) is looking into the need to strengthen laws around the use of surveillance devices and technologies in both civil and workplace environments.

This follows the recent release of the Palaszczuk Government’s Drones Strategy.

Each and every day we are seeing advances in smartphone technology, drone capability as well as tracking and data surveillance devices.

This begs the question whether the right balance is in place between protecting the privacy of Queenslanders and the legitimate use of these technologies.

The QLRC will examine ways to achieve this balance as technologies become increasingly sophisticated.

The use of surveillance devices in workplaces will also be considered by the QLRC.

Employers use optical surveillance, data monitoring and tracking devices for a number of legitimate reasons, including to ensure employee health and safety, protect property from theft and damage, prevent fraud and monitor employee performance.

However like any other surveillance, it is vital this is considered against an employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy.

The reviews of civil surveillance and workplace surveillance will not cover the use of surveillance devices by law enforcement agencies, which is already regulated in Queensland.

The terms of reference can be found at www.qlrc.qld.gov.au and the QLRC will report back by 1 July 2019 (civil surveillance) and by 30 June 2020 (workplace surveillance).