06. November 2019 - 11:00 till 12:00
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Exploring Avenues of Liability for Data Breaches | La Trobe University (Social Sciences Building room 232 - Moot Court) | Wednesday, 06. November 2019

Abstract:
The cost of cyber security breaches to the Australian economy is estimated by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) to be $1 billion each year. But this estimate only covers direct costs. When both direct and indirect costs are included, the ACIC’s estimate rises to 1% of GDP. This is about $17 billion annually. Australian expenditure on cyber security prevention and threat mitigation is estimated to reach about $4 billion in the 2019 calendar year, producing a total cyber cost of around $21 billion.
It is difficult to imagine any sector of the Australian economy where the costs to the community are so high and where so much money has been spent on prevention and remediation, apparently without much effect. Why are we not safer? This seminar will explore the answers to this question.
Professor Watts and Dr Griffin will argue that the root causes of our cyber failures are attributable to a series of perverse incentives that undermine our ability and willingness to address cyber security issues. They will argue that accountability mechanisms do exist and are ‘hiding in plain sight’ but have simply not been pursued through mechanisms such as public interest class actions. They will propose a recalibration of our policy responses to cyber security as a way to answer the question posed at the outset: why are we not safer?
Presenters:
Professor David Watts is one of Australia’s leading data protection experts. An experienced regulator, leader, policy maker, consultant and public and private sector lawyer, he has taken on and solved some of Australia’s most complex privacy and data protection challenges. As Victorian Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection, David led the development of Victoria’s protective data security policy framework and protective data security standards. For almost a decade he was the independent statutory regulator over security in Victoria Police. David is currently Professor of Information Law and Policy at La Trobe University’s law school and is a 2019 UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.


Dr Laura Griffin is a Lecturer in Law at La Trobe University. She completed her doctoral thesis in 2011 at the University of Melbourne. This project, an ethnographic study of 'illegal' migrant domestic workers in South Africa, involved a reconceptualization of borders and migrant subjectivity. Laura's current research concerns the rule of law, development and the state. Her broader interests include human rights law, migration, gender, citizenship, theology, global political economy, and critical approaches to development and international law.