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Victoria Recording Laws

Victoria Recording Laws

In Victoria, it is against the law to knowingly install, use or maintain a listening device to listen or record a private conversation to which you’re not a party without the consent, express or implied, of all parties to the conversation. This means if you are taking part in a private conversation, you are within the law to record the conversation. However, if you are not an active party to the conversation, you can record the private conversation provided you obtain consent from at least one party to the conversation. Section 6 Surveillance Devices Act 1999.

Listening devices in this case refers to devices such as phones, voice recorders, video cameras that can record audio, etc.

Victoria Video Recording Laws

Section 7 of the Surveillance Devices Act 1999 stipulates that it is against the law to install, use or maintain an optical surveillance device to record or observe a private activity to which the person is not a party. To record such private activity, the law requires the consent, express or implied, of all parties to the private activity be obtained.

Private activity in this case refers to activities that the parties to the activity expect a reasonable expectation of privacy and desire it to be observed by themselves only. This does not include:

  • An activity carried outside a building.
  • Activities carried out in circumstances in which the parties to the activity should reasonably expect it to be observed by other persons.

Is it Legal to Record a Conversation in Victoria?

If you are party to the conversation you are legally allowed to record it. If you are not part of the conversation than you must have consent from at least one party.

If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation you may gain consent by:

  • Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
  • A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).

Victoria Workplace Recording Laws

Employers in Victoria are not allowed to install audio or video recording devices to monitor the conversations or activities of workers in toilets, washrooms, change rooms, or lactation rooms in the workplace.

Victoria Publishing Laws

It is illegal to publish or communicate a record or report of a private conversation or activity unless the communication or publication is made:

  • With the express or implied consent of all parties to the private conversation or activity.
  • Is reasonably necessary in the public interest or for the protection of the lawful interests of the person making it.

Victoria Recording Laws Penalties

  • In the case of a corporation, 1200 penalty units.
  • In any other case, level 7 imprisonment (2 years maximum) or a level 7 fine (240 penalty units maximum) or both.

Other Australian Laws