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Voyage forward for Queensland: Unauthorised taking of photographs and making of film and its subsequent publication on the internet

By Kelley J. Burton

Abstract

In August 2005, the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General released a discussion paper entitled, ‘Unauthorised photographs on the internet and ancillary privacy issues’ as a result of the widespread use of mobile phone and digital cameras to film other members of the public, without consent. Some of the incidents have involved up-skirt filming, photographing topless female bathers at the beach and filming others whilst they are undressing, showering, or toileting. The victims of these acts are harmed because their privacy rights have been infringed. This infringement is exacerbated if the photographs or film are made available to a larger audience, for example, by publishing them on the internet.\ud \ud There are no criminal laws in Queensland specifically prohibiting these acts. For example, in Queensland, these acts will often fall outside the scope of the offences on stalking, indecent acts, obscene publications, public nuisance, trespass, indecent treatment of children, and child exploitation material because one or more of the elements is or are not satisfied. Consequently, the current offences are inadequate to protect privacy rights from voyeurs.\ud \ud The voyage forward for Queensland is to introduce voyeurism offences specifically prohibiting these acts. The challenge will be to identify the boundaries of the voyeurism offences. In this regard, lessons may be learned from New South Wales, the United Kingdom and Canada, which introduced voyeurism offences in March 2004, May 2004 and November 2005, respectively. Further, New Zealand has proposed voyeurism offences and these will provide a valuable insight for Queensland

Topics: 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure, unauthorised photographs, visual images, privacy, voyeurism
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:4179

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