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Australia: OVIC releases updated guidance regarding principles for surveillance

The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner ('OVIC') published, on 3 May 2022, updated guidance regarding principles for surveillance. In particular, the OVIC highlighted that the Guiding Principles for Surveillance ('the Guiding Principles') and accompanying checklist and case studies should be used by any Victorian public sector organisation that monitors or analyses personal information or data. Furthermore, the Guiding Principles specify that surveillance can include, but is not limited to, the use of CCTV, remote invigilator software, analytics software, user management and monitoring tools, artificial intelligence, or tracking employee logins and activity, irrespective of the purpose of the data collection or analysis.

Moreover, the Guiding Principles add that using the Guiding Principles and checklist will support organisations to identify and evaluate surveillance practices and take a privacy and human rights enhancing approach to its use. As such, the Guiding Principles state that these must be interpreted alongside legislative frameworks applicable to organisations, such as legislation permitting or prohibiting surveillance generally, or in specific instances.

You can access the Guiding Principles here, and download the checklist here and case studies here.