Back to

SSN seminar: COVIDSafe®: tracing, surveillance, and other organised irresponsibilities

SSN seminar: COVIDSafe®: tracing, surveillance, and other organised irresponsibilities

This panel discussion builds on Dr. Monique Mann’s provocations on the limits and liabilities of COVIDSafe—the app promoted by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to trace and track people who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. While the COVIDSafe app continues to be used, imperfect as it is, this panel considers how other, privately owned digital tracking applications are now also emerging in response to the wave of public health concerns, such as PwC’s “Check-in” application for workforces and the Apple-Google API. This panel discusses the emergence of privatised solutions to this public health crisis and places them within the context of criticisms and concerns of state-based surveillance.

This event is presented by Deakin University’s Global Digital Publics Network (GDPN) & the Science and Society Network’s Data Cultures research theme.

Scheduled speakers include:

Jessica Glenn, AIM, who first detailed the code of COVIDSafe;

Vanessa Teague, CEO of Thinking Cybersecurity and A/Prof at ANU;

Graham Greenleaf, Professor of Law & Information Systems, University of New South Wales;

Peta Mitchell, A/Prof at QUT Digital Media Research Centre;

Luke Heemsbergen, Lecturer in Communication, Deakin University;

Monique Mann, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Deakin University.

Each speaker will give a short (5-10 mins) presentation and chart how they think the issues uncovered in app-based (public health) governance might inflect further into specific social, legal, political, or technical concerns. Dr Mann will then provide concluding remarks.

The session will be chaired by Dr Radhika Gorur, SSN Data Cultures theme leader.

Watch the seminar:

Seminar will be available to stream on YouTube live. Access using the live link:

Date/time: Thursday October 29th, 10am – 11:30am (Australian Eastern Daylight Time, GMT+11)

Q&A with the speaker to follow. To send questions/participate in the chat, you’ll need to sign-in using a YouTube account.

The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on the SSN YouTube channel after the Livestream.

If you have any questions, please send to


Looking to partner with Australia's leading social sciences 
and humanities research institute?

If you are interested in partnering or studying with us – we're keen to hear from you.