Penalty for selling confidential celebrity medical files? $300

30 08 2008

Penalty for selling confidential celebrity medical files? $300. That’s the ruling from The Heidelberg Magistrates Court. The pair sold the records for personal financial gain and did not obtain the records legally. I’m honestly quite shocked at this ruling as Australia has the Privacy Act, which I thought covered medical records, but it doesn’t.

I find it astonishing that when people find private medical records in the street and seek a sale for profit with a journalist, knowing the victim is a celebrity, the penalty is a paltry AU$300.

Does violating someone’s privacy really only deserve a slap on the wrist?

When celebrity news is a billion dollar business, is a $300 fine really appropriate as a deterrent?

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3 responses

30 08 2008
Daniel

$300 was also the amount they had sold the files for. Maybe not a coincidence?

15 09 2008
scientaestubique

It’s not a coincidence, it’s just zero deterrent.

5 10 2008
Adam

What do you suggest would be a more suitable penalty? $1000 fine? Gaol?

Don’t forget that in addition to the fines, these people now have criminal records which preclude them from any employment in the public service plus a range of other penalties.

Not necessarily defending them, just saying.

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