Metadata Surveillance: Why the Government Needs to Know What you Ate for Breakfast

Stream: Panel 9 - Human Rights & Democracy: Metadata, Whistle-blowing, Privacy, and Law 
Date: Monday, 26 September 2016
Time: 11.30 am – 1.00 pm


Metadata collection and retention is an essential source of intelligence for agencies working in national security. Governments around the world have mandated data retention policies, implemented standards across government agencies, and have made legislative reforms to facilitate the sharing of metadata. I will introduce how metadata is used by national security agencies paying particular attention to Big Data analytics of bulk data-sets, the techniques used to minimise privacy concerns, then compare the legal and policy frameworks from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The comparison will examine both procedural issues, legal restraints as well as privacy, oversight, transparency and other human rights concerns.


Alana Maurushat (Presenter), UNSW Law
Dr Alana Maurushat, B.A. in Communications (University of Calgary), B.C.L.(McGill), LL.B. (McGill), LL.M. with Concentration in Law and Technology (University of Ottawa), PhD (University of New South Wales) is Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, UNSW; Key Researcher on the D2DCRC – Big Data in National Security; and Senior Fellow with the new Australian CyberSecurity Centre for Research and Education at ADFA /UNSW. She is on the Board of Directors for the cybercrime company IFW. She has keynoted and presented at many conferences including CSI, AusCERT, High Tech Crime Conference and ISOI, and is in the media on a regular basis including 7:30 Report, 60 Minutes, ABC radio, and the Wall Street Journal. She has lectured in the fields of law, criminology, foreign policy, and computer science in Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Australia. Alana has done consultancy work on cyber security, open data, big data, technology and civil liberties (freedom of expression, privacy and freedom of assembly) for both the Australian and Canadian governments, and for the NGO, Freedom House. Recent books include Disclosure of Security Vulnerabilities and two forthcoming books are Ethical Hacking (2016), and Botnets (2017).