Surveillance Devices Law

NSW - Tracking, Data, and Reporting

Tracking Devices

Section 9 provides that no person can knowingly install, use or maintain a tracking device on a person or object without the consent of the person or the person who is in lawful possession. A breach of this provision is an offence attracting a fine or imprisonment of up to five years. Sub-section 2 lists exceptions, none of which are applicable to civilian law enforcement. The third exception, for a lawful purpose, is peculiar, and there is no suggestion as to what it means. It is likely to apply where other legislation explicitly authorises the use of a tracking device....

 

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Data Surveillance

Section 10 prohibits any person from knowingly installing, using or maintaining a data surveillance device on or in premises in relation to a computer on the premises. The rule is activated if this involves either:

  • entry to premises without express or implied consent of the owner or occupant, or

  • interference with a computer or a network on the premises without express or implied consent of the person in lawful control of such....

 

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Prohibition on Reporting

Section 11 prohibits the communication and reporting of information as to a private conversation or an activity obtained by the use of listening, optical or tracking devices. Section 14 prohibits the same with respect to computer data obtained directly or indirectly from a data surveillance device. A further, and sensible, condition on both sections is that such information be obtained in contravention of the laws discussed above. For a definition of a private conversation, see above. Again, a breach of this section an offence and punishable with a fine or imprisonment of up to five years....

 

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Possession of Unlawful Recordings

If a person possesses a record of an activity or private conversation, which they know was made in breach of the laws discussed above, then section 12 makes it an offence. A breach of this section is punishable with a fine or imprisonment of up to five years. A record, according to definitions in section 4, includes not only a media recording, but also any documentary information about the conversation or activity, such as a transcript.

Written by Andrew Pingree. All copyright, 2014-2016 vests in Civilaco Pty Ltd.

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