VIC Is It Illegal to Access Someone's Mobile Phone?

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stork

Member
7 November 2014
3
0
1
I left my phone at work overnight and the person on night duty went through my mobile phone and copied personal messages and data between myself and other staff members. They are now using this information to harass me,

I did not give them permission to access my private communications or data.

Which laws or acts have been violated and what are my rights in protecting my privacy and information?
 
S

Sophea

Guest
Hi Stork,

Did they access password protected information? And was the phone yours or a company phone?
 

stork

Member
7 November 2014
3
0
1
Hi Stork,

Did they access password protected information? And was the phone yours or a company phone?
The password was not on at the time. The phone is my personal property. Am wondering if Trespass to Goods and Personal Safety Intervention Act 2010 apply. She has interfered with property, and by copying the messages: Theft of Property (text messages appear to be under the definition of property) Her actions were deliberate and she is using the information to harass. It is very hard to find information specific to this as data protection laws and the privacy act seem to apply only to organizations and not private individuals
 

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
1,314
250
2,389
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Stork,

Yes, this is not allowed. You will most likely have a case in trespass as well as tort breach of confidence and workplace harassment. You should speak with your employer about this as this could be the easier (and least expensive) way to resolve the matter. The privacy act is generally there to protect individuals against organisations or businesses. Where it is against an individual, you're better of initiating an action for the tort breach of confidence.

If your employer is not doing anything to assist you, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to lodge a complaint for workplace harassment.
 

stork

Member
7 November 2014
3
0
1
The password was not on at the time. The phone is my personal property. Am wondering if Trespass to Goods and Personal Safety Intervention Act 2010 apply. She has interfered with property, and by copying the messages: Theft of Property (text messages appear to be under the definition of property) Her actions were deliberate and she is using the information to harass. It is very hard to find information specific to this as data protection laws and the privacy act seem to apply only to organizations and not private individuals
Thankyou so much Sophea
Hi Stork,

Yes, this is not allowed. You will most likely have a case in trespass as well as tort breach of confidence and workplace harassment. You should speak with your employer about this as this could be the easier (and least expensive) way to resolve the matter. The privacy act is generally there to protect individuals against organisations or businesses. Where it is against an individual, you're better of initiating an action for the tort breach of confidence.

If your employer is not doing anything to assist you, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to lodge a complaint for workplace harassment.
Thanks Sarah, very useful information. I have contacted our HR department and will try to deal with it that way.
 
S

Sophea

Guest
Hi Stork, yes as Sarah has said, Privacy laws do not extent to individuals and there is actually no prima facie 'right' to privacy. But yes I agree, likely trespass to chattels and/or recourse to workplace harassment provisions.
 
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