Woman writing on notebook next to laptop

Kelly Lewis and Alexa Scarlata selected for Consumer Advocacy Placement Program at CHOICE

Author Loren Dela Cruz
Date 7 September 2022

Dr Kelly Lewis and Alexa Scarlata have been selected to participate in a Consumer Advocacy Placement Program with Australia’s leading consumer advocacy organisation, CHOICE.

The placement, which was co-designed by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S) and CHOICE, aims to translate academic research into an advocacy setting, with a focus on campaigning. It will focus on several key facets such as campaign tactics and strategy, policy and government relations, digital campaigning, and media and social media strategy.

Dr Kelly Lewis said, “The placement will provide an excellent opportunity to further develop my skills and research interests in policy and government relations and digital rights advocacy, while also enabling me to take the lead on developing current and future research collaborations with CHOICE in respective areas of interest.”

Kelly will be working closely with Kate Bower, Consumer Data Advocate, and the CHOICE team, to generate original research and evidence of the material and social harms raised by automated decision-making (ADM) systems in Australia. Focused priorities are aligned to ADM-enabled products and services and consumer protection (i.e., insurtech sector, predatory advertising, data monetisation, and dynamic personalised pricing). This collaboration will directly contribute to formulating public awareness, informing academic research, regulatory policy, and industry practice.

Alexa Scarlata who is currently investigating smart TV software and its implications for consumer access to content with Assoc Prof Ramon Lobato (FT190100144) said, “This research is an important extension of CHOICE’s ongoing TV research, testing, and consumer engagement.”

“I am really excited about having the opportunity to observe new ways to effectively translate our [research] findings. Our current research will have real-world implications for Australian consumers and there is much to be learned from CHOICE’s advocacy tactics – particularly planning and delivering a campaign, strategic approaches to digital advertising, and testing and survey design methods. I hope to bring these and more insights back from CHOICE, and also bring a bit of my research experience to their team,” she said.

ADM+S is pleased to be collaborating with CHOICE to strengthen our research capability and research impact. The CHOICE Consumer Data team is working closely with ADM+S researchers to tackle the misuse of consumer data, AI and automated decision-making.