NSW govt to consider 'revenge porn' laws

The NSW government says it will consider a parliamentary report recommending new laws to protect against serious invasions of privacy.

The NSW government is leaving the door open to laws giving victims of "revenge porn" and other serious invasions of privacy the right to sue.

In a parliamentary report handed down on Thursday, a Legislative Council committee unanimously agreed there were glaring gaps and inconsistencies in legal protections and avenues of redress afforded to victims of revenge porn and other online breaches in NSW.

"There is a clear need to ensure better protection of privacy, and to provide adequate remedies to people who experience a serious invasion of privacy," said committee chair Liberal MLC Natasha Maclaren-Jones.

The government says it will take the legal propositions into account.

"The NSW government thanks the standing committee on law and justice for their work on this important issue, and will consider the recommendations within the timeframe set by the committee," a government spokeswoman told AAP.

The committee has recommended the introduction of a new statutory cause of action, or tort, allowing people to sue for serious invasions of privacy.

These include intentional or reckless invasions of privacy committed by an individual, or unintentional but negligent "big data" breaches by governments or corporations.

The committee's report also suggests providing local courts with additional powers in domestic violence cases, preventing the sharing of personal and private images online, and allowing magistrates to issue "take down" orders if the images are circulated.

Greens MLC David Shoebridge, who sat on the committee, said there were huge gaps in current legal frameworks and the new tort was long overdue.

"The current law provides no effective remedy for people who have their digital identity, their personal details, spread across the internet because a negligent government or corporation has failed to keep their data secure," he said.

The committee recommended such complaints be heard by the NSW Privacy Commissioner, who could hand down determinations including non-financial redress such as apologies, along with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and ordinary civil courts.

Source AAP

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