A privacy review of NSW mobile phone detection cameras has been launched by the government after a woman came forward complaining the device had taken a photo of her underwear.
Cinzia Lee says she felt “shock and distress” when a fine for using her phone behind the wheel arrived with a photograph, 2GB reports.
“You could see up my skirt, between my legs,” she told Ben Fordham Live. “You could see my underwear.”
'Happening more than anyone realises'
While she knows that she was wrong for having her mobile on her lap, the meditation teacher was horrified the image had possibly been viewed by multiple people.
“You have no control over who is seeing those photos and how many people are seeing those photos,” she said. “Obviously this is happening, probably more than anyone realises.”
After receiving the fine, Ms Lee raised the issue with Service NSW but claims she got little support.
“I got a written letter back that basically ignored everything that I'd said except to say that someone in the office does look at the photo,” she told Fordham.
Ms Lee took the matter to court in an effort “to be the voice for the women of NSW that this was happening to”. But again she says it felt like “no one was listening to me”.
Fine and photo dismissed in court
At a court hearing in front of a magistrate Ms Lee pleaded guilty for the mobile phone offence but tried to raise the issue of the privacy breach.
In court she says she was served with documents including a blown-up photo that “zooms in on her crutch”. Ms Lee said the magistrate, who dismissed the fine due to her good driving record, said she would have to write to the minister about the photo.
After Ms Lee's interview with Fordham, the issue was brought to the attention of NSW Minister for Roads Natalie Ward who confirmed that the government would look into it.
“I understand the distress of the driver and I have asked Transport for NSW to review protocols for handling of sensitive images,” Ms Ward told 2GB.
‘Upskirting' detection photo in Queensland
The incident comes just months after a Gold Coast woman was upskirted in a photograph taken by a detection camera.
In the shot her arm was above her seatbelt so the driver, her partner Richard Arnold, was hit with a $1,078 fine. But it’s the image accompanying the fine that’s got him seeing red.
“Upskirting, I believe, is illegal and certainly it’s disrespectful,” he told 9 News after the camera captured an “indecent” shot of the woman’s underwear.
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