In March 2002 the Commission was asked to examine two major issues of public concern in relation to privacy: workplace privacy and privacy in public places.
In the first stage, the Commission was asked to address gaps in privacy protection for Victorian workers. The terms of reference asked the Commission to examine a wide range of activities including: surveillance by video, audio or tracking devices; internet use; physical and psychological testing, searching workers and their belongings and the handling of personal information. The Commission was also asked to consider the impact of new technologies.
The Commission published several papers to encourage community response: an issues paper in October 2002, an occasional paper in 2002 and an options paper in 2004.There was extensive consultation throughout the review and the Commission was assisted by expert roundtables. The Commission received over 60 submissions.
The final report was tabled in Parliament on 5 October 2005. It included 65 recommendations for a regulatory model that would open up privacy-invasive practices to scrutiny and ensure both employers and workers knew where they stood.
The second part of this project, Surveillance in Public Places, was finalised in June 2010.
In 2006 the Victorian Parliament passed the Surveillance Devices (Workplace Privacy) Act 2006 (Vic), adopting the Commission’s recommendation to prohibit the recording or monitoring of employees in toilets, change rooms, lactation rooms or wash rooms.