The Age of Surveillance: Facial Recognition and Online Privacy

Emma Crameri Emma Crameri has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 15 April 2021

Monash University has released a short documentary titled ‘The Age of Surveillance’. Hear from the experts about some of the concerns and issues around online privacy and data collection.

This episode from the series explores the social, legal, technological and health implications of living in a world where intrusive technologies such as facial recognition and surveillance are becoming the norm.

Dr Xin Gu, Senior Lecturer, Master of Cultural and Creative Industries, School of Media Film and Journalism, says:

“The more we normalise those invasive technologies, the less we are likely to actually question and criticise the intention behind surveillance technologies. Someone somewhere is keeping a record of everything that happens in our lives and there’s no essence of the core individual.”

“There are serious questions to be asked by an individual when they are using those technologies in terms of – Who’s keeping my data? How is my data being used? These are massive global corporations. The control of these apps and companies should be an international collaborative effort and should not be left by individual governments.”

“If we develop a good understanding of what the technology is, we are in a position to be able to make sense of it and protect ourselves from data exploitation.”

Associate Professor Carsten Rudolph, Head of Department for Software Systems and Cybersecurity, says:

“The very big companies who have really founded their business models on collecting data, chances are probably very low that they would change their business model by themselves. Our cybersecurity group at Monash tries to combine technical, very mathematical research on cryptography with very practical applications. It’s perfectly possible to build solutions in a way that data is not stored over a long time or not even stored at all.

“Very often, there’s a good justification for collecting data. For example, study effects of behaviours of people, for example, induced by the COVID-19 situation, where research can use the data to really understand how the effects of the virus, where, how it was distributed. And then there’s models to predict how we need to behave to get rid of the virus.”

In conclusion, there’s a call for better guidelines and regulation for data privacy and collection and more public education.

About Monash documentary Series A Different Lens

A Different Lens is a documentary series that draws on the unique perspectives of academic and industry leaders on the world’s most pressing issues.

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