From the introduction of a recent submission of the Australian Privacy Foundation to the NSW Attorney General’s Department:
The Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW) (‘the Act’) replaced the Workplace Video Surveillance Act 1998 (NSW) (‘the WVSA’), which only applied to video camera surveillance. The new Act also applies to additional forms of surveillance including email and internet monitoring and the use of tracking devices.
The NSW Attorney General has described the aim of the Act as being to promote transparency in the workplace and openness about surveillance practices. While the Act does go some way to meeting these objectives, there are several key deficiencies.
The most significant is the failure to regulate the conduct of ‘notified’ (or ‘overt’) surveillance. We suggest that both employees and employers would benefit from an Act which provided greater clarity in the area of overt surveillance.
In addition, we are of the view that an independent body, such as the Information and Privacy Commission, should be provided the powers and resources to administer the Act, including the power to institute civil proceedings where necessary. This would ensure employers and employees are educated about their rights and responsibilities, and provisions in the Act are adequately enforced. Further areas for reform are outlined below.
Read the full submission.