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Commissioner: Privacy Torts Too Limited


November 21, 2011

Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim says he favors government-backed conciliation over litigation in cases of breached privacy, The Australian reports. In a submission to the government, Pilgrim outlines a framework where privacy complaints would first go to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and not the courts. If conciliation with the OAIC proved insurmountable or if a legal referral was needed, the case would then go to the courts for a solution. Earlier this year, Privacy Minister Brendan O'Connor submitted a proposal calling for the federal government to create a "statutory cause of action." Pilgrim's submission says, "If the cause of action is actionable directly to the courts, sections of the public who are not in a position to access the civil justice system may be unable to enforce their rights." (Registration may be required to access this story.) 
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