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COLB12-110: Trust, Privacy, Law and Ethics in the Digital Age


The transformation of business, government and culture to digital processes and virtual spaces creates new business and governance opportunities and introduces a range of new risks.  This subject introduces a range of trust, privacy, ethics and governance challenges arising from digital practices, including legal and ethical considerations relevant to the spread of technology and its concomitant effects on the collection, storage and use of information. Using a transdisciplinary, case-based approach, students will analyse significant controversies from a range of disciplines whilst applying a multi-disciplinary perspective. Topics to be canvassed may evolve as the law develops and, in light of what is topical at any given time, may include the legal and ethical issues surrounding such matters as: data privacy, and the collection, processing and use of personal data; the protection of intellectual property rights in areas such as computer programs, new inventions and designs through patent, copyright, and design protection; cybersecurity and cybercrime; issues surrounding the rise of algorithms, including through blockchain/distributed ledger technology; the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning; and the potential liability of social networks over the spread of sensitive or inaccurate information.  This subject prepares students not just to understand where the legal ramifications of an organisations’ digital practices may lie, but more broadly to assist organisations in producing strategies and solutions for effective economic, political and social processes.

Subject details

Semesters offered
  • May 2022 [Standard Offering]
  • May 2023 [Standard Offering]
Study areas
  • Business and Commerce
  • Communication and Creative Media
  • Health Sciences
Subject fees
  • Commencing in 2022: $5,260
  • Commencing in 2023: $5,400

Learning outcomes

1. Explain the role of ethics and trust in the digital society. 2. Identify the range of legal issues relevant to an organisation’s practices with regard to personal data and privacy. 3. Describe the various ways that the law protects new creations. 4. Identify and discuss emerging legal and ethical issues in the digital landscape. 5. Critically analyse an existing or hypothetical problem arising from a range of topics and evaluate potential courses of conduct in light of relevant legal and ethical principles.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Subject outlines

Subject dates

Standard Offering
Enrolment opens20/03/2022
Semester start16/05/2022
Subject start16/05/2022
Cancellation 1?30/05/2022
Cancellation 2?06/06/2022
Last enrolment29/05/2022
Withdraw – Financial?11/06/2022
Withdraw – Academic?02/07/2022
Teaching census?10/06/2022