Defining the Sensor Society

8 - 9 May 2014
Social Sciences and Humanities Library Conference Room, Level 1, Duhig Building (No. 2)
St Lucia Campus [see map]

Registration required
Waged $100 / Students $50. Register here by 28 April.


We are surrounded by sensors: our cars collect detailed information about our driving habits and destinations; our smart phones gather a growing array of increasingly detailed and comprehensive information about our communication activities and more. The growing network of sensors contributes to a fast-growing stream of data about everything from the weather to the details of our personal lives and our movements throughout the course of the day.
The resulting shift away from targeted, discrete forms of information collection to always-on, ubiquitous, expanding and accelerating data collection marks important changes in our understandings of surveillance, information processing, and privacy in the digital era. The sensor society therefore raises significant questions about the role of privacy, power and surveillance in the world of the ever-watching, ever-sensing, always-on interactive devices. Control over the sensing infrastructure, the databases, and the response platforms will play a crucial role in how information is used and who benefits.

Hosted in conjunction with the TC Beirne School of Law, this multi-disciplinary conference explores theoretical, empirical, legal and historical approaches to the sensor society. 

  • A theme paper on the Sensor Society written by conference co-convenors Associate Professor Mark Andrejevic and Dr Mark Burdon can be accessed here.


  • Opening remarks by Timothy Pilgrim, Federal Privacy Commissioner [bio]
  • Professor Edward W Felten (Princeton University)
    Sensors Without Surveillance [abstract]
  • Dr Jennifer Gabrys (Goldsmiths, University of London)
    Environmental Sensors and Participatory Urbanism: Troubling the Practices of Data-Based Citizenship [abstract]
  • Professor Lisa Parks (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Drones, the Sensor Society, and US Exceptionalism [abstract]
  • Closing reflections by The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG [bio]


  • Making Sense of the Sensors: Anywhere, Anytime Data Monitoring
    Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney) | Gavin Smith (Australian National University) | Mark Burdon & Mark Andrejevic (University of Queensland)
  • Sensor Histories: How Data Got Big
    Elizabeth Stephens (University of Queensland) | Erin Giuliani (University of Queensland) | Charlotte Epstein (University of Sydney)
  • Sensor Technologies and Ethics
    David Adams & Mark Dibben (University of Tasmania) | Helen Chenery, Adrian Carter & Jacqueline Liddle (University of Queensland) | Vasileios Routsis (University College London)
  • War of the Drones: Sensors, LARs and UAVs
    Baden Pailthorpe (University of New South Wales) | Sebastian Kaempf (University of Queensland) | Lemm Ex (Office of the Information Commissioner, QLD)
  • Sensor Society: Law and Regulation
    Megan Richardson (University of Melbourne) | Thilla Rajaretnam (University of Western Sydney) | Melissa de Zwart, Sal Humphreys & Beatrix van Dissel (University of Adelaide)
  • Private Sector Surveillance
    Daniel Baldino (University of Notre Dame) & Mark Rix (University of Wollongong) | Felicity Gerry (Charles Darwin University) | Gerard Goggin & César Albarrán-Torres (University of Sydney)
  • Sensors and Targets: Marketing in the Sensor Society
    Nicholas Carah (University of Queensland) | Sven Brodmerkel (Bond University) | Katina Michael, Tomas Holderness & Etienne Turpin (University of Wollongong)
Click here for the full program with abstracts

Enquiries: Fergus Grealy, Events Co-ordinator
P: (07) 3346 9764 | F: (07) 3365 7184 | E:
Go to top