Vehicle Tracking System

GPS Tracking Laws Australia

Hidden GPS Tracker For Car

Is GPS Tracking Legal In Australia?

In principle, it is allowed in Australia to use a car tracker or other tracking devices to track the whereabouts of workers or the automobile they are using. There are, nevertheless, some restrictions on surveillance. You are lawful as long as you tell the worker or anyone utilizing the monitored item that the device’s position is being monitored.

Each Australian region has its own monitoring and surveillance laws. As a result, not all statutes specifically mention GPS tracking devices. Please see the table below for a list of states and extracts from their individual regulations.

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Is It Permissible In Australia to Monitor Somebody Without Their Permission?

In a nutshell, the answer is “Yes…and No.

The lengthier answer is that it varies by state in which you live. Furthermore, it is dependent on whether that State has special “Surveillance or Privacy legislation.” To learn more about the legislation in your State, click on the links below.

GPS Tracking Laws in Australia

Is GPS tracker monitoring legal for corporate cars?” is a topic that is commonly questioned. The advantages of monitoring your fleet’s whereabouts are numerous. It does, however, come with some accountability. As a result, you must follow your State’s restrictions to avoid breaching the legislation.

Laws For GPS Tracking Systems By State In Australia 
State Legal To Track Someone

Without Their Knowledge

New South Wales No/ Depends
Victoria No/Depends
Western Australia No/Depends
Queensland No Reference To GPS Trackers
Tasmania No Reference To GPS Car Trakers
South Australia No/Depends
ACT No Reference To GPS Fleet Tracking
Northern Territory No/Depends

Here is a collection of hyperlinks to each State’s GPS monitoring legislation.

The materials listed below were current at the time this article was published, but they may have been modified since then. So, for the most up-to-date legislation in your State, contact your local authorities.

State Document Effective Date
New South Wales Surveillance Devices Act 2007 64 28/11/2018
Victoria Surveillance Devices Act 1999 21 05/06/2019
Western Australia Surveillance Devices Act 1998 56 01/07/2015
Queensland Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 05/06/2017
Tasmania Listening Devices Act 1991 05/10/2018
South Australia Surveillance Devices Act 2016 15/11/2018
ACT Listening Devices Act 1992 14/02/2009
Northern Territory Surveillance Devices Act 2007 30/11/2018

GPS Tracking Laws By Territory In Australia 

Each state in Australia has its own monitoring regulations. A list of each State, as well as extracts from laws pertaining to “GPS trackers,” is provided below. This is only a recommendation, and you must be aware of the laws in your own State.

GPS Tracking Laws in Victoria

Installing a GPS device to monitor somebody without their expressed or implicit agreement is illegal in Victoria. A fine and/or two years in jail are the maximum penalties for an offender. The Surveillance Devices Act 21 1999, Part 2 Section 8, states:

8. Regulation of installation, use, and maintenance of tracking devices

(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person must not knowingly install, use or maintain a tracking device to determine the geographical location of a person or an object—

(a) in the case of a device to determine the location of a person, without the express or implied consent of that person; or

(b) in the case of a device to determine the location of an object, without the express or implied consent of a person in lawful possession or having lawful control of that object.

Penalty: In the case of a natural person, level 7 imprisonment (2 years maximum) or a level 7 fine (240 penalty units maximum) or both; In the case of a body corporate, 1200 penalty units.

Note: Section 32A applies to an offense against this subsection.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to—

(a) the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with a warrant, emergency authorization, corresponding warrant, or corresponding emergency authorization; or

(aa) the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with an order made under the Serious Offenders Act 2018; or

(ab) the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with a parole order under the Corrections Act 1986; or

(ac) the installation, use, or maintenance of an electronic monitoring device in accordance with a community correction order under the Sentencing Act 1991; or

(ad) the installation, use or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with an order of the Governor of prison under section 30 of the Corrections Act 1986; or

(b) the installation, use or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with a law of the Commonwealth

Victoria Surveillance Devices Act 1999 No 21

GPS Tracking Laws In New South Wales

Installing a monitoring device to observe somebody without their direct or implicit agreement is illegal in New South Wales. A penalty and/or five years in jail are the maximum penalties for an offender as per the local law enforcement agencies. The NSW Surveillance Devices Act 2007 No 64, Part 2 Section 9, states:

9. Prohibition on installation, use, and maintenance of tracking devices

(1) A person must not knowingly install, use or maintain a tracking device to determine the geographical location of:

(a) a person—without the express or implied consent of that person, or

(b) an object—without the express or implied consent of a person in lawful possession or having lawful control of that object.

Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units (in the case of a corporation) or 100 penalty units or five years imprisonment, or both (in any other case).

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the following:

(a) the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with a warrant, emergency authorization, corresponding warrant or corresponding emergency authorization,

(b) the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with a law of the Commonwealth,

(c) the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device for a lawful purpose.

New South Wales Surveillance Devices Act 2007 No 64

GPS Car Tracking Laws In Queensland

As per the Australian Government’s “Overview of Current Law,” the “Invasion of Privacy Act 1971” governs the use of “listening, optical, data, and tracking surveillance equipment” in Queensland. Part 4 Listening devices and Part 4a Invasion of privacy with regard to dwelling places are two sections of the article. There is no reference to GPS tracking devices in the text.

GPS Tracking Laws In Western Australia 

Installing a surveillance system to monitor somebody without their express or implicit agreement is illegal in Western Australia. Individuals can face a maximum penalty of $5,000 in fines and/or 12 months in jail. The “Surveillance Devices Act 1998 No.56 Part 2 Section 7” in Western Australia states:

7. Regulation of use, installation and maintenance of tracking devices (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a person shall not attach, install, use, or maintain, or cause to be attached, installed, used, or maintained, a tracking device to determine the geographical location of a person or object without the express or implied consent of that person or, in the case of a device used or intended to be used to determine the location of an object, without the express or implied consent of the person in possession or having control of that object.

Penalty:

(a) for an individual: $5 000 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both;

(b) for a body corporate: $50 000.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to —

(a) the attachment, installation, or maintenance by a law enforcement officer of a tracking device on a vehicle that is situated in a public place nor the use of a tracking device that has been so attached or installed where the attachment, installation, maintenance, or use is carried out by a person in the course of that person’s duty as a law enforcement officer;

(b) the attachment, installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with a warrant issued under Part 4;

(c) the attachment, installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with an emergency authorization granted under Part 4;

(d) the attachment, installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in prescribed circumstances; or

(e) the attachment, installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in accordance with a law of the Commonwealth.

3) Subsection (1) does not apply to the use of a tracking device by a person in the course of that person’s duty as a law enforcement officer where the device has not been attached or installed or caused to be attached or installed by that person or by a person acting on behalf of that person.

Western Australia Surveillance Devices Act 1999 No 56

GPS Vehicle Tracking Laws in Tasmania

The Listening Devices Act of 1991 governs Tasmania. There is no particular mention of GPS tracking devices in this text. However, there are regulations regarding using a private investigator to monitor someone. So, it is up to you to contact the local authorities to learn more about GPS devices in Tasmania.

GPS Tracker Laws In South Australia

Placing a GPS tracker to track someone else without their specific or implicit agreement is illegal in South Australia. Individuals can face a maximum punishment of $15,000 in fines and/or three years in jail. Part 2, Section 7 of the South Australian Surveillance Devices Act 2016 says:

7. Tracking devices

(1) Subject to this section, a person must not knowingly install, use or maintain a tracking device to determine the geographical location of—

(a)a person without the express or implied consent of that person; or

(b)a vehicle or thing without the express or implied consent of the owner or a person in lawful possession or lawful control, that vehicle or thing.

Maximum penalty:

(a)in the case of a body corporate—$75 000;

(b)in the case of a natural person—$15 000 or imprisonment for three years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply—

(a) to the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device if—

(i) the installation, use, or maintenance of the device is authorized under this Act or any other Act or a corresponding law; or

(ii) the installation, use, or maintenance of the device is authorized under a law of the Commonwealth; or

(iii) the device is installed, used, or maintained for the purposes of an approved undercover operation under Part 2 of the Criminal Investigation (Covert Operations) Act 2009 by, or on behalf of, a person who is an authorized participant in the approved undercover operation; or

(b) to the use of a tracking device solely for the purpose of the location and retrieval of the device; or

(c) to the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device in prescribed circumstances.

South Australia Surveillance Devices Act 2016

GPS Tracking Laws in Australian Captial Territory (ACT)

The “Listening Devices Act 1992” governs the Australian Capital Territory. At this moment, there is no reference to GPS tracking devices in the Act. So, you will have to take a look at what the supreme court or the local agencies have to say about GPS tracking.

GPS  Laws In Northern Territory (NT)

Installing a monitoring device to monitor somebody without their stated or implicit agreement is illegal in the Northern Territory. Individuals are subject to a maximum sentence of two years in jail. Surveillance Devices Act 2007 Part 2 in the Northern Territory states:

13. Installation, use, and maintenance of tracking devices

(1) A person is guilty of an offense if the person:

(a) installs use or maintains a tracking device to determine the geographical location of a person or thing; and

(b) knows the device is installed, used, or maintained without the express or implied consent of:

(i) for a device to determine the location of a person – the person; or

(ii) for a device to determine the location of a thing – a person in lawful possession or having lawful control of the thing.

Maximum penalty: 250 penalty units or imprisonment for two years

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the installation, use, or maintenance of a tracking device:

(a) under a warrant, emergency authorization, corresponding warrant or corresponding emergency authorization; or

(b) under a law of the Commonwealth; or

(c) if the device is installed by a law enforcement officer or an ICAC officer in the performance of the officer’s duty on a thing when the thing is in a public place; or

(d) if the device is installed, used, or maintained in prescribed circumstances

Northern Territory Surveillance Devices Act 2007

The federal statute covers GPS tracking by government agencies. More information about federal laws may be found at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A01387

GPS tracking is an excellent tool for keeping watch on your fleet’s performance in many sectors, such as the health care field. It makes it easy to send the closest employee to a job and execute workplace regulations. It also enables you to reward excellent driving habits while discouraging time-wasting behaviors.

However, you need to ensure that you understand the rules before installing a car tracker in an automobile that might be operated by someone else.

It is your duty to be aware of the law. Take the time to learn about your country’s state and federal legislation.

Related Content: GPS Tracking Laws In The United States

Australian GPS vehicle tracking laws are subject to change so if you want the most current information relating to GPS tracking or personal tracking legislation (or any types of surveillance) in Australia, we highly advise you speak to an attorney in the state of Australia you wish to use a GPS fleet tracking device. Surveillance legislation is always subject to change so information found in this article is not intended to be legal advice