Data Protection, Privacy and Media Convergence  
Common Challenges and Suggested Reforms in Australia and the EU 

Australia lacks a Bill of Rights which recognises and protects privacy as a human right. Nor does it have a dedicated cause of action – either at common law or under legislation – that protects privacy per se. Moreover, the action for breach of confidence has not been extended to accommodate the misuse of private information to the same extent as in the United Kingdom. The main form of privacy protection in Australia is the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), which is essentially data protection legislation. Media organisations enjoy an exemption from compliance with the requirements of this Act, but only if they publicly commit to observing certain standards that deal with privacy. What are the standards to which media organisations have committed themselves in order to qualify for this exemption? How rigorous are they in terms of privacy protection? How does the current Australian position compare with the EU in terms of data protection, the media and a cause of action for privacy?

The Australian position may be about to change. In 2008, the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended sweeping changes to privacy law in Australia. Most notably, it advocated the introduction of a statutory cause of action for privacy, despite strong resistance from the media. It also suggested changes to the media exemption provision in the Privacy Act 1988. Earlier this year, the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation (the ‘Finkelstein Inquiry’) and the Convergence Review, which investigated all the regulatory issues generated by media convergence, presented their reports. They also contain recommendations which, if adopted, will have implications for privacy.

Die Veranstaltung hat am 29. Juni 2012 in Englisch stattgefunden.


Professor Dr. Dieter Dörr
Direktor des Mainzer Medieninstituts, 
Universitätsprofessor am Fachbereich Rechts- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz


Associate Professor Moira Paterson
Monash University, Australia

Sharon Rodrick, LL.M.
Monash University, Australia

Dr. Normann Witzleb
Monash University, Australia

Professor Dr. Udo Fink
Stellvertretender Direktor des Mainzer Medieninstituts


Dr. Tobias O. Keber
Akademischer Rat, Lehrstuhl für Öffentliches Recht, Europarecht, Völkerrecht und Internationales Wirtschaftsrecht (Professor Dr. Udo Fink) an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz