Presented by

  • Elizabeth Alpert

    Elizabeth Alpert
    @betsybookworm

    This speaker's name is Elizabeth, but if you yell "Elizabeth!" in a crowded room she'll think that you must be looking for some other Elizabeth. It's better to call her Betsy, but please don't yell in a crowded room, it's rude. Betsy has had a variety of titles attached to what she does, but she's currently liking the sound of Data Infrastructure Engineer. Her current position is at the Digital Observatory, Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of Technology, and it involves as much data governance as it does software and systems engineering. Outside of work, Betsy can be found either with her nose in a book or a computer game, or out in the garden attempting to keep a plant alive for longer than two months.

  • Amelia Radke

    Amelia Radke

    Dr Amelia Radke is a cultural anthropologist and ethnographer whose research lies at the juncture of science and technology studies, anthropology, and socio-legal studies. Amelia attained a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours (anthropology) in 2013, where she was the recipient of the Bruce Rigsby Prize in Anthropology; and awarded her PhD in 2018 from the School of Social Science and TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland. Amelia’s PhD used an ethnographic approach to explore the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Justice Groups in two southeast Queensland Indigenous sentencing courts or Murri Courts. This study informs her emerging research regarding the impact of biometric identification technologies and eHealth initiatives for First Nations peoples in Australia, New Zealand, and North America. In addition to her research in academia, she was also the chief investigator for a community-based criminal law initiative called ‘Transport2Court’, which provided travel assistance to vulnerable peoples in the criminal justice system.

Abstract

In an increasingly digitised world, societal understandings of the intersection between innovative technologies, ethics, and human rights have never been more critical. However, different cultures and different sectors have differing understandings of all these things. A simple categorisation of human data as being either public or private is insufficient to describe the complexities of a single human social group, let alone the full complexity of human life and interaction that is being recorded in more and more detail every day. In Australia, understanding the social impacts of this new regime of digital data is integral to facilitating economic, social and health benefits, without further entrenching inequality for already vulnerable peoples within society. Furthermore, the application and impact of innovative technologies from all sectors including the tech industry is highly dependent on social acceptance, which cannot avoid public debates around ethics, human rights, and responsible innovation. There are currently many conversations about the usage of human data and issues of privacy, ethics, and digital human rights in government, academia, activist communities, technology in general, and the information security and open data communities in particular. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are happening independently of each other, and as such are missing out on the knowledge, experience, and perspectives of other sectors. This presentation is a discussion between an anthropologist (Dr Amelia Radke) specialising in digital human rights and a data infrastructure engineer (Betsy Alpert) on how the notions of privacy, security, and ethics play out in our respective fields. We argue that good data needs collaboration and deliberate design, particularly in an our ever more data-centric world.