Australians are some of the world’s greatest users of social media and mobile broadband, and our nation is in the top ten globally for internet use. At a time when our use of these technologies is increasingly redefining aspects of our personal and professional lives, Digital Rights in Australia explores urgent questions about the nature of our rights now and into the future.
The analysis covers rights issues in four areas: privacy, profiling and analytics; government data-matching and surveillance; workplace change; and freedom of expression and speech regulation. It explores the ethical and legal challenges we face in using digital, networked technologies and the debates we are having about how to best manage their transformative impacts. Crucially this study examines the major role of private, transnational digital platforms in reshaping the way we work, study and conduct business, our interactions with government and with each other.
The program of research which generated the Digital Rights in Australia report has three aims:
- to assess the evolving citizen uses of digital platforms, and associated digital rights and responsibilities in Australia and Asia, identifying key dynamics and issues of voice, participation, marginalisation and exclusion;
- to develop a framework for establishing the rights and legitimate expectations which platform stakeholders––particularly everyday users––should enjoy and the responsibilities they may bear;
- to identify the best models for governance arrangements for digital platforms and for using these environments as social resources in political, social and cultural change.
This report draws on three sources of data: a national survey of the attitudes and opinions of 1600 Australians on key rights issues; focus group discussion of related rights scenarios; and analysis of legal, policy and governance issues, illustrated by case studies. The core findings are grouped in chapter order.