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Know the rules that apply to recreational drone users and fly safely.

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Information on privacy laws that may relate to drones.

Privacy awareness and an understanding of laws in your area is important to determine the potential that drone use might breach state and territory laws relating to privacy, trespass, harassment, intimidation, nuisance and endangering safety.

Such laws can differ between states and territories and may not specifically mention drones. Operators should seek specific legal advice or contact relevant state or territory bodies if they have any concerns or questions about proposed activities. The table below provides a summary of most applicable laws.

Privacy guidance

When flying drones, it is important to respect privacy and we want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to understand safe and considerate drone use that is in line with community expectations. Drone Privacy Guidelines have been published and aim to help drone users and the community understand privacy laws in relation to drone use.

The Guidelines have been developed in consultation with states and territories, industry and other stakeholders, to support a shared understanding of how drone operations intersect with relevant privacy provisions. The Guidelines can be found here.

 Drone operators should follow the Australian Privacy Principles. General information for individuals and organisations can be found at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Summary of state and territory laws that may relate to privacy


Relevant legislation


  • Privacy Act 1988

New South Wales

  • Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW)
  • Caravan Parks Act 2012 (NSW)
  • Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
  • Domestic and Personal Violence Act 2007 (NSW)
  • Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW)
  • Information Act 2002 (NSW)
  • Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
  • Privacy Code of Practice (General) 2003 (NSW)
  • Residential Tenancies Act 1999 (NSW)
  • Summary Offences Act 1923 (NSW)
  • Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW)
  • Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW)


  • Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (VIC)


  • Criminal Code (QLD)
  • Human Rights Act 2019 (QLD)
  • Information Privacy Act 2009 (QLD)
  • Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 (QLD)
  • Offences Act 2005 (QLD)

South Australia

  • Summary Offences Act 1953
  • Surveillance and Listening Devices Act 1972
  • Surveillance Devices Act 2016

Western Australia

  • Animal Welfare and Trespass Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (WA)
  • Surveillance Devices Act 1998 (WA)
  • The Criminal Code (WA)


  • Listening Devices Act 1991 (TAS)
  • Personal Information Protection Act 2004 (TAS)
  • Police Powers (Controlled Operations) Act 2006 (TAS)
  • Police Powers (Surveillance Devices) Act 2008 (TAS)
  • Right to Information Act 2009 (TAS)
  • Telecommunications (Interception) Tasmania Act 1999 (TAS)

Northern Territory

  • Caravan Parks Act 2012 (NT)
  • Criminal Code Act 1993 (NT)
  • Domestic and Family Violence Act 2007 (NT)
  • Information Act 2002 (NT)
  • Personal Violence Restraining Orders Act 2016 (NT)
  • Residential Tenancies Act 1999 (NT)
  • Summary Offences Act 1923 (NT)
  • Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NT)
  • Trespass Act 1987 (NT)

Australian Capital Territory

  • Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002
  • Crimes (Surveillance Devices) Act 2010 (ACT)
  • Crimes Act 1900
  • Freedom of Information Act 2016 (ACT)
  • Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT)
  • Information Privacy Act 2014 (ACT)
  • Listening Devices Act 1992 (ACT)
  • Territory Records Act 2002 (ACT)