Mr. Roger Clarke, Xamax Pty Ltd, and Visiting Professor and former Chair, Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre, UNSW
Dr. Angela Daly, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, Law School, Queensland University of Technology
Topic: How do They Get away with it? The Legal Framework of the Digital Surveillance Economy
Abstract: The digital surveillance economy is a combination of institutions, institutional relationships and processes that enables corporations to exploit data arising from the monitoring of people’s electronic behaviour. It might be expected that the practices involved are subject to regulatory measures, that at least some of the more intrusive practices are illegal, and that regulators take action to curb corporate excesses and restrain their abuse of personal data and of consumer trust. In practice, however, corporations appear to be operating with very little regulatory interference.
This paper lays a foundation for understanding why that is the case. It first presents a model of the digital surveillance economy. It then identifies key examples of laws that require examination in order to establish what corporate activities in the digital surveillance economy are proscribed, and what activities are at least subject to at least some forms of regulatory measures that protect privacy and consumer interests.