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Public Forum: How Should Australia Regulate Facial Recognition Technology?

27 June 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEST

Survellience camera identifying faces in city

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Would you support the introduction of cameras that can recognise your face in the street?

Recent controversy over new CCTV cameras in Adelaide has highlighted the issue of facial recognition technologies and the potential for their misuse in the absence of strong legal controls.

The City Council asked police not to use facial recognition technology, ‘unless and until the parliament in South Australia adopts legislation consistent with biometric surveillance, facial and privacy recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Law Council.’

However, South Australian police have already been using facial recognition on other systems, according to news reports, including technology provided by one of the industry leaders, NEC.

The police have described facial recognition as a useful investigative tool, but the Australian Human Rights Commission has called for a temporary ban on its use until there is legislation, especially around their use in law enforcement, to protect civil rights and liberties.

Hear about the risks of the technology and the regulations we require when former Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow, Law Society President Justin Stewart-Rattray, Greens MLC Tammy Franks and UTS expert Lauren Perry provide their thoughts and answer questions you might have at a public forum moderated by Adelaide City Council Member Phil Martin.

This will be an important public meeting for South Australians as we discuss the key issues face recognition raises for our democracy.

In the interest of public health and safety, if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home.

Supported by the ARC-funded Facial Recognition Project at Monash University, the ARC Centre for Automated Decision Making and Society, and ANU.

Logos for Monash University, ADM+S and Australian National University

Featured Speakers

Tammy Franks

Tammy Franks – Greens Member, SA Parliament

Tammy Franks MLC is the Co-Leader of the Greens in the South Australian Parliament and has been a member of the South Australian Legislative Council since her election in 2010. Her portfolio responsibilities include Consumer and Business Affairs, Trade and Investment, and Mental Health (among others).

Tammy has worked as an advisor to the former Senator Natasha Stott Despoja as well as for Amnesty International and the YWCA. Directly before her election, she was the policy officer for the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia.

Tammy has previously introduced legislation that would require that, where facial recognition technology is used in gambling venues, it is used solely for the purpose of harm reduction. She continues to be an advocate against the use of facial recognition technology for grooming gamblers, and wants to see better regulation of the use of facial recognition technology.

Ed Santow

Edward Santow – Industry Professor, Responsible Technology

Edward Santow is the newly appointed Industry Professor – Responsible Technology at UTS. He will lead a major UTS initiative to build Australia’s strategic capability in artificial intelligence and new technology. This initiative will support Australian business and government to be leaders in responsible innovation—by developing and using AI that is powerful, effective and fair.

Ed was previously Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner (2016-2021), and led the most influential project worldwide on the human rights and social implications of AI. Before that he was chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a leading non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education. He was also previously a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law School, a research director at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and a solicitor in private practice.

Justin Stewart-Rattray

Justin Stewart-Rattray – 2022 President of the Law Society

Justin Stewart-Rattray is the Principal of Stewart-Rattray Lawyers. He was admitted to practice in 1993 and has over 28 years of experience, of which approximately 20 years has been as a practitioner either alone or in small practice. Justin has established a solid practice in all aspects of business law, specialising in debt collection and litigation; both commercial and in insolvency. He has worked for a broad range of businesses across a range of industries both State and national, big and small.

Justin has been a Member of the Society’s Council since January 2019.  Justin’s motivation to seek election and ultimately act as President in 2022 was to give something back and help the Society ensure the wellbeing of the profession in South Australia. He is keen to maintain the viability of the South Australian profession, especially in the current uncertain times from the perspective of sole practitioners and smaller firms.

Lauren Perry

Lauren Perry – Projects Manager – Responsible Technology

Lauren Perry is the Projects Manager – Responsible Technology, based at UTS’s Centre for Social Justice & Inclusion. With Professor Edward Santow, Lauren leads the centre’s work on responsible technology.

Lauren manages a number of major projects including the Facial Recognition Technology Model Law Project and UTS’s AI Strategic Training Initiative. Her areas of expertise include the social implications of new technologies, human rights, and public policymaking.

Lauren previously worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission in research, project and policy roles. Lauren undertook research and coordinated national consultations and public engagements for the Human Rights and Technology Project.

Since 2019, Lauren has been a founding member of the UTS Young Alumni Committee, dedicated to creating opportunities for UTS graduates to connect, collaborate, and make a difference in the wider community.


27 June 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEST


Adelaide Town Hall (Banqueting Room)
128 King William Street
Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
View Venue Website