Many private individuals now have access to reliable and inconspicuous recording and surveillance devices. In some cases recording private conversations, and maintaining surveillance, may be legally justifiable. Increasingly private individuals seek to have their recordings of other’s private conversations and activities admitted as evidence in legal proceedings in domestic and family violence related cases. Often the recording and surveillance material is collected covertly. Legislative responses to these issues vary across Australia.
See Groom v Police  SASC 101 for a helpful discussion of these issues in the South Australian context.
|Place||Relevant statutes:||Applies to:|
|ACT||Listening Devices Act 1992 (ACT)||Listening devices|
|NSW||Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW)||Listening, optical, surveillance and tracking devices|
|NT||Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NT)||Listening, optical, surveillance and tracking devices|
|Qld||Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 (Qld)||Listening devices|
|SA||Surveillance Devices Act 2016 (SA)||Surveillance devices|
|Tas||Listening Devices Act 1991 (Tas)||Listening devices|
|Vic||Surveillance Devices Act 1999 (Vic)||Listening, optical, surveillance and tracking devices|
|WA||Surveillance Devices Act 1998 (WA)||Listening, optical, surveillance and tracking devices|
This is a resource to assist self-represented litigants to gather evidence of their experience of technology abuse in a form that will be allowed by a court. It also provides links to additional resources including information about documenting technology abuse and technology safety. Note however that this is an American resource and the helpline number provided is unlikely to be available to those calling from Australia.The introduction reads: If someone is using technology like text messages, email, or social media (like Facebook) to harass you, this guide will help you “capture” the evidence of the harassment, so you can bring it to court. You might think you can just show the judge your phone in court—but you probably won’t be allowed to just show your device. Even if you are allowed, you could risk the court taking your device as evidence. To be sure the judge considers your evidence and that you don’t lose your phone (or other device), you need to gather evidence in a form allowed by the court. This guide will provide suggestions on how to capture evidence that can be admitted in court from your devices, such as your cell phone, computer, or tablet (such as an iPad).