Privacy is a rapidly changing and controversial area of legal policy. The Law Reform Commission has reviewed the law relating to privacy in NSW.

The Australian Law Reform Commission has also recently reviewed the law relating to privacy. You can view its recommendations on the ALRC website.

The NSW Law Reform Commission has examined privacy in a number of reviews:


The Commission's review of privacy included:

  • recommendations relating to the regulations governing privacy in NSW (see Report 127).
  • recommendations for a cause of action for breach of privacy (see Report 120); and
  • a review of privacy principles (see Report 123).


Access to personal information

The Commission's review of the law governing the handling of access applications for personal information of people other than the applicant under freedom of information legislation has reported on:

  • access to personal information (see Report 126);
  • the relationship between the Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners (see Report 125).



The Commission considered privacy issues in its review of the Listening Devices Act. The Commission proposed a comprehensive regime to regulate electronic surveillance in NSW.


Minors' consent to medical treatment

Chapter 9 of the Issues Paper on minors' consent to medical treatment considered privacy as it relates to young people and their health information.

Adoption Information Act

The Commission also considered privacy in its review of the Adoption Information Act which governs access to information for people who are adopted and their natural and adoptive parents.

The Commission's Report discusses the privacy implications of its recommendations, particularly in chapter 6 and chapter 7.