The media release, which embodies the Government's rather weak response to the privacy inquiry by the Legislative Council Committee on Law and Justice, features the comment by Attorney-General Upton that
distributing intimate images without consent often involves ex-partners seeking revenge and is particularly troubling in domestic violence situations, where a victim may be forced to participate in the production of explicit images.It goes on to state
“‘These images can have a devastating emotional and social effect on the person pictured and can be used as a way to deliberately humiliate, control or harass the intended victim,” Ms Upton said.
“No one has the right to share explicit photos without consent, and new laws will protect people and make it clear this kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable.
”The use of mobile phones as recording devices has made it easier for people to share intimate images without consent on social media or websites, causing great distress for victims, and we need strong laws to protect them.”
The decision reflects the NSW Government’s recognition of concerns about privacy recently expressed by the Legislative Council Committee on Law and Justice and is part of the Government’s response to the Committee’s report on remedies for serious invasions of privacy, which will be tabled today.
Only Victoria and South Australia make distributing intimate and sexually explicit images without consent a criminal offence. In Victoria the offence carries a penalty of up to two years in prison, while in South Australia the maximum penalty is $10,000 or two years in jail.
Consultation will start soon on a range of issues, including the definition of “intimate” images, how they are shared or distributed, and what penalties should apply, including how the offence should apply to children and young people.