Areas lacking progress
NATIONAL: Lack of comprehensive national legislation protecting a child’s right to privacy
There is no comprehensive national legislation protecting a child’s right to privacy in Australia. Currently, the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) applies to “a natural person”  however there are no specific provisions that explicitly cater to the specific needs of children and young people.  The Government also has chosen not to incorporate the ALRC recommendation of a statutory tort of breach of privacy into the current privacy law reforms. 
NATIONAL: Lack of child-friendly complaints mechanisms
There are no child-specific complaints mechanisms available to children who have had their privacy breached, although amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) have provided the Australian Information Commissioner (Privacy Commissioner) with new powers to investigate complaints.  Further, privacy complaints are limited to those made against government agencies and officers and large private organisations.
NATIONAL: Lack of prohibition on publication of criminal proceedings involving children
There is no prohibition on the publication of criminal proceedings involving children and young offenders in the Northern Territory. The Court however may make an order against publication. 
In addition, the Prohibited Behaviour Orders Act 2010 (WA) that applies to people over the age of 16 requires the publication of the details of those subject to a Prohibited Behaviour Order.  This includes the publication of their name, photograph, town of origin and details of the order, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
NATIONAL: More public education on cyber safety needed
In 2013, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) conducted a study on the attitudes of Australian people towards privacy and their awareness of the Federal privacy laws. The study, which was initiated through surveying over the phone, found that Australians believe the largest privacy risks exist through online services.  This finding confirms an earlier study conducted by the OAIC in 2010 relating to cyber safety and children and young people, which recommended education as key to empowering individuals to protect their privacy online and identified cyber safety as a national problem.  As part of the 2010 National Safe Schools Framework, the Department of Education launched the Safe Schools Hub in March 2013, which provides a suite of digital resources to support schools.  Some of these resources include a professional training and learning modules for pre-service and current teachers, and central online information resources for parents and children.  In February 2013,the Victorian Government also launched their ‘It’s There for Life!’ campaign, targeting the education of young people and their decision to post online.  Young people were also targeted in the 2012 Privacy Awareness Week, with the then Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim, getting involved in an online session of the Federal Government’s initiative, Cybersmart Detectives.  The 2014 Privacy Awareness Week will be held on 4-11 May 2014.
NATIONAL: National Disability Insurance Scheme interferes with the right to privacy
The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 deals with protected information, including personal information, that the Agency may obtain in the course of performing its functions. A person may obtain, use or disclose protected information if the CEO of the Agency has reasonable grounds for believing that it is ‘reasonably necessary’ for:
- research matters relevant to the NDIS;
- actuarial analysis of matters relevant to the NDIS; or
- policy development.
Storing and sharing personal information, including its release without a person’s knowledge or consent, all amount to interferences with the right to privacy, which is protected by article 16 of the CRC. There are no requirements for steps to be taken to de-identify the information or to obtain the person’s consent before releasing personal information.
QLD: Proposed name and shame laws
Jarrod Bleijie, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Queensland in March 2013 announced planned reforms to the juvenile justice system, which include allowing the names of repeat young offenders to be made public.  These new name and shame laws could see the names of children as young as 10 being revealed following their second offence. Whilst the Mr Bleijie has described the reforms as “tough but necessary”,  experts had warned a NSW parliamentary committee in 2008 when similar laws were being considered, that such laws would be viewed by some children as badges of honour and would in fact encourage them in “committing more and more serious offences”.  A University of the Sunshine Coast psychology lecturer, Dr Rachael Sharman, has also warned of the “huge” potential of backfire, as “these kids are not taught normal family values, such as guilt, remorse and shame” and so “would not understand the massive repercussions this would have on their lives later on”.