Several laws cover the use of drones in Australia.

If you’ve been photographed or filmed by a drone and the operator is an organisation or agency the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) covers, then they must comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. The Privacy Act covers Australian Government agencies and organisations with an annual turnover of more than $3 million, and some other organisations. Such an organisation or agency must:

  • tell you that your image may be captured before you’re recorded
  • make sure recorded personal information is secure and destroyed or de-identified when it is no longer needed

The Privacy Act does not apply to individuals acting in a private capacity. Civil Aviation Services Australia regulates the use of recreational drones. Visit their website for a list of rules an individual must follow when operating a drone.

If your neighbour is using a drone and you’re concerned about your privacy, see Security Cameras.

If a media or news outlet has used a drone to capture your image without permission, see Photos and Videos.

Was this page helpful?

Thank you.

If you would like to provide more feedback, please email us at websitefeedback@oaic.gov.au