LAW5343 - Privacy and surveillance in the age of AI - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Moira Paterson Research ProfileResearch Profile (

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2019


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7246


The emergence of new technologies, including AI and technologies based on the Internet of Things, coupled with recent events such as the revelations of Edward Snowden and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, have placed new attention on privacy and surveillance in
contemporary public debates.

This unit traverses the complex patchwork of common law and statutory regimes which protect the privacy of personal activities and communications in Australia and compares it with that available in other jurisdictions, including the EU. It also examines the role of data protection and antisurveillance laws in guarding against the potential harms posed by new applications of Big Data Analytics, including discrimination, manipulation and lack of due process.

These topics are explored from a range of perspectives and having regard to theoretical, policy and international contexts.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • apply knowledge and understanding Australian laws which regulate surveillance and privacy with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to privacy and surveillance and their regulation;
  • conduct research on the regulation of surveillance and privacy based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods; and
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to privacy and surveillance and their regulation.


Research Assignment (5,250 words): 70% + Take home examination (2,250 words): 30%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)