The Centre for Critical Studies was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

Defining the Sensor Society

8 - 9 May 2014
Social Sciences and Humanities Library Conference Room,
The University of Queensland


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 explored 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.


  • David Adams (University of Tasmania)
  • César Albarrán-Torres (University of Sydney)
  • Mark Andrejevic (University of Queensland)
  • Daniel Baldino (University of Notre Dame)
  • Sven Brodmerkel (Bond University)
  • Mark Burdon (University of Queensland)
  • Nicholas Carah (University of Queensland)
  • Helen Chenery (University of Queensland)
  • Melissa de Zwart (University of Adelaide)
  • Charlotte Epstein (University of Sydney)
  • Lemm Ex (Office of the Information Commissioner, QLD)
  • Edward Felten (Princeton University)
  • Jennifer Gabrys (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Felicity Gerry QC (Charles Darwin University)
  • Erin Giuliani (University of Queensland)
  • Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney)
  • Tomas Holderness (University of Wollongong)
  • Sal Humphreys (University of Adelaide)
  • Sebastian Kaempf (University of Queensland)
  • The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
  • Baden Pailthorpe (University of New South Wales)
  • Lisa Parks (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Katina Michael (University of Wollongong)
  • Mark Pearson (Animal Liberation)
  • Timothy Pilgrim (Federal Privacy Commissioner)
  • Thilla Rajaretnam (University of Western Sydney)
  • Megan Richardson (University of Melbourne)
  • Vasileios Routsis (University College London)
  • Gavin Smith (Australian National University)
  • Elizabeth Stephens (University of Queensland)
Click here for the full program with abstracts (803kb)
Click here to access the audio recordings of the proceedings

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