2 Feb 2015

Slater case could set precedent

8:01 pm on 2 February 2015

A decision to clear Cameron Slater of Privacy Act breaches could result in all bloggers being exempt from the legislation, the Director of Human Rights Proceedings says.

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. Photo: SUPPLIED

The director's lawyer, Simon Judd, told the Human Rights Review Tribunal today there was nothing to distinguish Mr Slater from any other blogger who expressed their opinions on the internet.

Mr Slater denies breaching the privacy of former Hell Pizza executive Matt Blomfield when he posted 46 of the businessman's personal documents online.

They included a video of Mr Blomfield at a gym and emails between him and his business partners. Mr Slater maintains he is a member of the news media and is not subject to the Act.

But Mr Judd told the tribunal the case could set a precedent and result in every blogger being exempt from the Privacy Act if the charge was not upheld.

He told the tribunal that Mr Slater had failed to provide any evidence about whether he was in the business of news or, for example, was being funded by clients to upload information.

But Mr Slater held up a Canon Media Award he received and told the tribunal that and a High Court decision in a defamation case proved he was a journalist and, therefore, exempt from the Privacy Act.

The Tribunal has reserved its decision.