Upcoming CJRC Seminar – “Regulation in the Security Space”

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The Crime and Justice Research Centre are hosting an upcoming seminar on Regulation in the Security Space with speakers Dr Roger Clarke and Dr Monique Mann. 

Date: Monday 12th September 2016
When: 12-1pm, lunch provided
Venue: U214, Level 2, U Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St, Brisbane

RSVP by Friday 9th September 2016, along with any dietary requirements to am.gurd@qut.edu.au

Presentations for this seminar include:


The abstract notion of ‘security’ is subject to many different interpretations. These depend in particular on which stakeholder is concerned about harm to which values associated with which assets. As the aphorism has it: ‘a Conservative is a Liberal whose kid’s bike has just been stolen’. These issues are relevant in information technology contexts in general, and Internet / ‘cybersecurity’ contexts in particular. The spectrum of regulatory forms is reviewed, noting the steady drift from ‘government’ to mere ‘governance’. A series of test-cases is then considered, in order to gain some insights into the effectiveness of contemporary approaches to security regulation. The cases include PIAs for national security initiatives, natural and imposed controls over big data analytics, and the current challenges of the ‘Internet of Things’, remotely-piloted drones, and autonomous cars. Finally, the notion of a ‘data protection impact assessment’ (DPIA) that is embedded in the European Commission’s GDPR is compared with a normative model of what a PIA should look like. The test-cases suggest that the public is confronted by a wide array of regulatory failures. These may be attributed variously to failure by executive and legislative branches to apply evaluation standards to initiatives – particularly where the ‘national security’ mantra is invoked, to their excessive desire to stimulate business activity, and to the exercise of power by corporations over governments.


There has been a rapid expansion in the type and volume of information collected for security purposes following the terrorist attack in 2001. This event was a catalyst for increased investment in surveillance technology by governments around the world. New technology, biometric identification and other developments such as metadata retention provide an increasingly comprehensive picture of citizens’ lives. The expanding use of biometric information for security purposes poses new challenges for the protection of individual rights. The first part of the presentation describes Automated Facial Recognition Technology (AFRT) and its law enforcement and border security applications, as well as its integration with image sources such as closed circuit television, social media and big data. This also includes an examination of the increasing centralisation of police information systems in Australia and around the world. These developments are reviewed against the backdrop of tension between individual privacy rights and collective security objectives. The second part of the presentation examines the existing privacy framework in Australia, arguing the legal system has lagged behind technological advancements, leading to a significant governance gap. This is followed by a review of current oversight models, one of the most prominent being a biometrics commissioner to oversee the retention of sensitive personal information by government.

Roger Clarke is Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra. He is also a Visiting Professor in Cyberspace Law & Policy at the University of N.S.W., and a Visiting Professor in Computer Science at the Australian National University.

Monique Mann is a Lecturer at the School of Justice, Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology. Monique is interested in socio-legal research on police technology, biometrics, and surveillance. She holds a PhD in criminology from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, Griffith University

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