VIC Breach of Privacy - Take Legal Action?

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jen2015

Member
11 July 2015
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If a business (financial-based) discloses the nature and details of my transaction to a family member without my permission/ knowledge/ consent (breach of privacy), can I take legal action if it has caused a disturbance in my family?
 

Tracy B

Well-Known Member
24 December 2014
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72
789
Australia
Hi Jen2015,

There is no general right to privacy. However, there are other rights you can sue depending on the facts. For example, did you contract with the financial business for their services? If so, was a confidentiality clause entered into? Was a privacy policy signed? You may be able to sue them for breach of contract.

Alternatively, if you can prove (i) the information itself was confidential (i.e. not available to the public), (ii) the intention/act of doing the transaction was imparted in circumstances of confidence and called for an obligation of keeping this confidence, and (iii) the disclosure caused you detriment, you may be able to sue under the tort of confidentiality. However, you will need to show significant detriment suffered by yourself, a disturbance in the family may not be enough.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
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Sydney
I agree with @Tracy B.

That said, there are too many riddles in this question to be able to give you a useful answer.

Let me ask you a few basics... some of which may sound silly, but are useful to help us frame an answer.
  • Are you sure that your other relative did not consent to the release of the information?
  • Check the terms and conditions of whatever you may have signed - there may be a consent clause in it somewhere, possibly in very small print.
  • Are you an adult?
  • What sort of business?
  • What sort of transaction (eg a loan, a guarantee on a loan, buying or selling something, getting a credit card, or signing up to a phone contract)?
  • What is the nature of the disclosure?
    That is, what did they disclose, and how?
 
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