Reading time: 4 minutes

According to the Privacy Act 1988 (the Act), when the identity of someone is easily discernible from an image or a video, the material is regarded as ‘personal information’. It is also possible for images and videos to contain ‘sensitive information’. This occurs if, and when, the person’s religion, race or ethnicity can become known from the images or videos. Businesses covered by the Act should be aware of the laws surrounding privacy. You can get up to speed by speaking with a small business solicitor about how to comply with these guidelines. A small business solicitor will be able to review your existing Privacy Policy for completeness or simply draft one from scratch if you do not already have one in place.

Lawful use and collection of images and videos 

For businesses that are required to comply with the Act, the collection of images and videos of recognisable individuals will only be lawful if it can be shown that the collection is reasonably necessary to fulfil an activity or function of the business.

Your small business solicitor will advise you of what circumstances do and do not require consent. Typically, consent is not required, however, it will be when the image/video contains sensitive information about the person in the image or video. Your small business solicitor should advise you of the numerous steps that must be taken to ensure the individuals understand the following details about the use or collection of the image including:

  • Your business name and contact details;
  • The time, location and method of taking the image or video;
  • The purpose of collecting their image or video;
  • Other businesses or organisations with which you intend to share the images or videos;
  • The means of accessing the images or videos; and
  • The likelihood of sharing the images or video with other individuals or business overseas.

Explanation of the requirements 

There are certain privacy law requirements that need further explanation by a small business solicitor. A good example of when you must inform an individual that you are taking his or her photo is when the image is to be placed online on a website that is hosted overseas. On the other hand, you might not be required to give an explanation of the time or place you plan to take the photos if the individual can work this out quite easily from the context. If the person already has your business’ contact details, you obviously will not need to supply them.

For more detailed information about the lawful collection of personal information of individuals, consult a small business solicitor and refer to the Australian Privacy Principles (Chapter 5). In general, the public are not willing to have their images or videos posted online. Getting their express consent is usually easier when you or your small business solicitor give the individual as much detail as possible about the intended use of the image or video.

As the Act protects the privacy rights of both children and adults, businesses are advised to take extra precautions when using images or videos of children. If you are unsure whether or not your use will be lawful, speak to a small business solicitor immediately. Whether you are allowed to use an image of a child might depend on the child’s ability to understand where, how and when the image will be used. Of course, this kind of discussion is best had with the child’s parents or guardian before seeking the child’s express consent. Speak with your small business solicitor about any other legislation aimed at protecting the interests of the child.


Have you got a Privacy Policy in place? Are you intending on using images of individuals but do not know whether you are permitted to do so? Speak with a small business solicitor to avoid running into any legal problems down the track. Our small business solicitors have extensive experience in Australian Privacy Law and can give you the advice you need at a guaranteed fixed-fee.


How Franchisors Can Avoid Misleading and Deceptive Conduct

Wednesday 18 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Ensure your franchise is not accused of misleading and deceptive conduct. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

New Kid on the Blockchain: Understanding the Proposed Laws for Crypto, NFT and Blockchain Projects

Wednesday 25 May | 10:00 - 10:45am

If you operate in the crypto space, ensure you understand the Federal Government’s proposed licensing and regulation changes. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

How to Expand Your Business Into a Franchise

Thursday 26 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Drive rapid growth in your business by turning it into a franchise. To learn how, join our free webinar. Register today.
Register Now

Day in Court: What Happens When Your Business Goes to Court

Thursday 2 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

If your business is going to court, then you need to understand the process. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Manage a Construction Dispute

Thursday 9 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Protect your construction firm from disputes. To understand how, join our free webinar.
Register Now

Startup Financing: Venture Debt 101

Thursday 23 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how venture debt can help take your startup to the next level. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer