PL&B International E-news, Issue 38

12/09/2005
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  1. Australian Privacy Commissioner calls for review of Privacy Act
  2. Argentine court permits webcam
  3. Germany: Instant dismissal for private use of the internet during working hours

1. Australian Privacy Commissioner calls for review of Privacy Act

Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis has called for review of the Privacy Act, in the light of new technologies and ways in which information about people is collected, used and disclosed. Ms Curtis is waiting for the federal Government’s response to her report.
In addition, the Attorney-General’s office is preparing a response to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee enquiry into the Privacy Act, entitled The Real Big Brother. The committee stated that there was “considerable merit” in the notion of wider review of privacy in the 21st century.

2. Argentine court permits webcam

An Argentine Court of Appeal has ruled that the use of CCTV in the entrance of a building is lawful under the Data Protection Act.
The plaintiff sued the administration of a building, claiming that the photo the security organisation took of him was unlawful, based on the right to privacy.
The court ruled that the administration of the building has sufficient powers to impose such a requirement.
The court also said that the image of a person is not mentioned as personal data under the Data Protection Act, and that the database was not a “register whose purpose was to provide reports” in the sense of Article 1 of the Data Protection Act.

3. Germany: Instant dismissal for private use of the internet during working hours

The German Federal Labour Court decided in July on the requirements for dismissal for private use of the Internet. According to the judgment, an employer does not have to ban private use of the internet explicitly. Instant dismissal is still a possibility if, by using the internet for private purposes extensively during working hours, an employee neglects his duties as set down in his contract of employment. This applies especially (but not exclusively) if the employee accesses sites with pornographic contents. The neglect of duty can be an important motivation behind instant dismissal of the employee. Whether such a dismissal is ultimately effective must be decided by considering the circumstances relating to a specific case.

For further details on the Privacy Laws & Business International Newsletter, please click here.

Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2005

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