Privacy law is the area of law concerning the protecting and preserving the privacy rights of individuals. Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively By definition, most countries treat privacy as the rights of individuals and not institutions. The governments and other organizations collect vast amounts of personal information for a variety of purposes. The law of privacy limits how these organizations can collect and use this information.
The scope of applicability of privacy laws is called expectation of privacy. Expectation of privacy is a concept which is crucial in the defining of the scope of the applicability of Privacy laws A subjective expectation of privacy is an
Privacy laws can be broadly classified into:
These laws have an overall bearing on the personal information of individuals and affect the policies that govern many different areas of information
These laws are designed to protect specific types of information such as health information, financial information, etc. about individuals. Some examples include:
In Australia, the federal Privacy Act 1988 sets out principles in relation to the collection, use, disclosure, security and access to personal information. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The Privacy Act 1988 is an Australian law regarding privacy of personal information enacted in 1988 The Act applies to Australian Government and Australian Capital Territory agencies and private sector organisations (except some small businesses). For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. } The Australian Capital Territory (ACT is the Capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and its smallest self-governing internal territory The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is the complaints handler for alleged breaches of the Act. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is an Australian Government agency created by the Privacy Act 1988. Some Australian States have enacted privacy laws. The Commonwealth of Australia is made up of 8 states and territories controlled under a federal system of government
The Australian Law Reform Commission is currently conducting an extensive inquiry into privacy law in Australia and is due to report to the Australian Government in March 2008.
More information about Australian Privacy Laws can be found at Federal Privacy Law
In Canada, the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in connection with commercial activities and personal information about employees of federal works, undertakings and businesses. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (abbreviated PIPEDA or PIPED Act) is a Canadian law relating to Data privacy It generally does not apply to non-commercial organizations or provincial governments. Personal information collected, used and disclosed by the federal government and many crown corporations is governed by the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act is Canadian federal legislation that came into effect on July 1, 1983. Many provinces have enacted similar provincial legislation such as the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act which applies to public bodies in that province.
There remains some debate whether there exists a common law tort for breach of privacy. There have been a number of cases identifying a common law right to privacy but the requirements have not been articulated. 
In Erwin Eastmond v. Canadian Pacific Railway & Privacy Commissioner of Canada (June 11, 2004) The Court found that CP could collect Eastmond's personal information without his knowledge or consent because it benefited from the exemption in paragraph 7(1)(b) of PIPEDA, which provides that personal information can be collected without consent if "it is reasonable to expect that the collection with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the availability or the accuracy of the information and the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement". Events 1184 BC - Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned according to the calculations of Eratosthenes. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (abbreviated PIPEDA or PIPED Act) is a Canadian law relating to Data privacy