- Associate Professor Mark Burdon
- Associate Professor
Faculty of Law,
- Discipline *
- Law, Policy and Administration, Other Information and Computing Sciences
- +61 7 3138 9033
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PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Science (University of London)
Information Privacy, Privacy Law, Data Protection, Cybersecurity, Information Security regulation, RegTech
My primary research interests are privacy, information privacy law and the regulation of information security. I focus on the complex privacy issues that arise from the sensorisation of everyday devices and infrastructures. These issues are explored significantly in my book, Digital Data Collection and Information Privacy Law, published by Cambridge University Press.
Recent research examines the privacy issues that arise from smart homes particularly involving domestic violence reporting and commercial uses of smart home sensor data.
Previous research includes a diverse range of multi-disciplinary projects involving:
- The regulation of information security practices;
- Legislative frameworks for the mandatory reporting of data breaches;
- Data sharing in e-government information frameworks;
- Privacy and consumer protection in e-commerce and
- Information protection standards for e-courts.
The relationship between privacy and power is a consistent theme in my work that I will be exploring further in the future. Sensor data generation is instrumental to the formulation of new power relationships in networked societies. Information privacy law will consequently need to adapt. How it adapts is therefore a crucial question to resolve as we move into an increasingly collected world, where data about everything is collected and analysed.
- My new book, Digital Data Collection and Information Privacy Law, argues for the reformulation of information privacy law to regulate the new power consequences of ubiquitous data collection. The book provides a foundation for future law reform and calls for stronger information privacy law protections. Julie Cohen describes the book as ‘a roadmap for operationalising privacy in a world where everything is connected and collected.’ Mark Andrejevic calls it ‘foundational for reinventing what we mean when we talk about privacy for years to come.’
- In a two-part blog, I examine COVID-19 contact tracing developments and the future legal consequences that flow, based on modulated power. I argue “… the mobile phone, is being used to shape and segment our notion of citizenry and…to shape our understanding of information privacy…”
- My Computers & Security article with Lizzie Coles-Kemp on the importance of understanding the socio-political context of information security practice.
- My work has featured in two dedicated ABC Radio National (RN) recorded programs: ‘The Smart Home as Safer Space’ RN Future Tense (2017) and ‘The Sensor Society’ RN Big Ideas (2014).
- An interview with Channel 7 news on the use of email location tracking by real estate agents.
- I created, with Heather Douglas, a brief video explainer on technology, domestic violence and privacy based on findings from Heather’s ARC Future Fellowship. Our research also resulted in a journal article for the University of New South Wales Law Journal on non-consensual mobile phone recordings and surveillance device law.
- My work with Mark Andrejevic on the advent of a ‘Sensor Society.’ Full article here.
- My TEDx talk on the Sensor Society, including the implications of Barbie Home, a sensorised and ‘smart’ Barbie doll.
- My work with Paul Harpur on big data discriminations involving recruitment and employee tracking. Full journal article here.
Current Research Projects:
- Development of legal validation strategies for converting legislation into machine readable code.
- Examination of privacy policies relating to the popular smart home products in Australia.
I currently teach the information privacy elements of LLB250 ‘Law, Privacy and Data Ethics.’
We live in an era where major advances in data-driven technologies are fundamentally changing many aspects of society. These technologies are not only becoming crucial to many businesses, which seek new avenues for creating competitive advantages and value, but also increasingly enmeshed in aspects of our everyday lives. This unit, therefore, explores the legal, ethical and social challenges raised by data-driven technologies in two main parts. The first centres on the information privacy law issues that arise from large-scale collection and aggregation of person information the second relates to the application of data analytics. Exploration of the challenges raised by different technologies across both parts of this unit are guided by broader considerations of fairness, accountability and transparency (FAT).
I use an inquiry-based learning approach that embeds consideration of critical questions in real-life practice. The mechanics of information privacy law can be ‘dry’ and it is in real-life and relevant application where the importance of fully appreciating the law’s true importance becomes apparent. My teaching of information privacy law thus embeds students within their own use of everyday devices and platforms to critically examine new data collection business models and the application of law.
- Burdon M, (2020) Digital Data Collection and Information Privacy Law
- Burdon M, Mackie T, (2020) Australia’s Consumer Data Right and the uncertain role of information privacy law, International Data Privacy Law
- Burdon M, Coles-Kemp L, (2019) The significance of securing as a critical component of information security: An Australian narrative, Computers and Security p1-10
- Douglas H, Burdon M, (2018) Legal responses to non-consensual smartphone recordings in the context of domestic and family violence, The University of New South Wales law journal p157-184
- Burdon M, Andrejevic M, (2016) Big data in the sensor society, Big data is not a monolith (Information Policy Series) p61-75
- Andrejevic M, Burdon M, (2015) Defining the sensor society, Television and New Media p19-36
- Siganto J, Burdon M, (2015) The privacy commissioner and own-motion investigations into serious data breaches: A case of going through the motions?, University of New South Wales Law Journal p1145-1185
- Burdon M, Harpur P, (2014) Re-conceptualising privacy and discrimination in an age of talent analytics, University of New South Wales Law Journal p679-712
- Burdon M, McKillop A, (2013) The Google street view Wi-Fi scandal and its repercussions for privacy regulation, Monash University Law Review p702-738
- Burdon M, (2010) Contextualizing the tensions and weaknesses of data breach notification and information privacy law, Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal p63-129
For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.
I welcome contact from potential higher degree research (HDR) research candidates who broadly have an interest in privacy and information privacy law (or data protection). I would also be happy to consider projects on the legal implications of sensorisation, informational capitalism and power relationships in platform economies.
I currently supervise an exciting range of PhD projects examining cutting-edge technological developments:
- Data-driven political campaigning and privacy law implications;
- Privacy and security consequences emerging from human-centred design in connected and automated vehicles;
- Legal considerations regarding the use of sensorised devices for employee monitoring in workplace/health-care contexts;
- Data sharing structures in sensorised agriculture that promote sustainability; and
- Concepts of trustworthiness in the automation of building superintendency.
- The Datafied Polity: Protecting Voter Privacy in the Context of Data-Driven Political Campaigning
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Professor Nicolas Suzor
- Legal responses to the data driven challenges presented by connected and automated vehicles (CAVs)
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Professor Belinda Bennett
- The legal implications of Australian workers wearing mobile and wearable technologies at work.
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Professor Richard Johnstone, Professor Kieran Tranter
- Data Portability Rights in Australian Digital Agriculture: Improving Data Governance for Sustainable Agriculture
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Professor Nicolas Suzor, Dr Joanne Gray
- Machine Superintendence: Automating Contract Administrative Functionsand the Role of the Trusted Intermediary in Australian Standard Form Construction Contracts
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Professor Sharon Christensen, Professor Nicolas Suzor