Julia Powles

Julia Powles is a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Digital Civil Society Lab from February to June 2024. In her permanent role she is Director of the UWA Tech & Policy Lab and Associate Professor of Law and Technology at the University of Western Australia Law School. Her research focuses on privacy, intellectual property, internet governance, and the law and politics of data, automation, and artificial intelligence.

Known for her unflinching analyses of how tech firms evade and distort regulation, Julia co-led successful public investigations into the infamous NHS/Google DeepMind health data breach and Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs’ thwarted smart city project. Current projects tackle civic resistance and political opportunism in Google Wing’s ambitions to scale commercial drone delivery, novel responses to the paradox of Big Tech’s small liabilities for systemic misconduct with a focus on Uber and Facebook (Meta), and future-proof governance mechanisms for human monitoring in health and performance contexts. 

Julia is the Independent Member of the Western Australian Government’s Privacy and Responsible Information Sharing (PRIS) Implementation Steering Committee and is Chair of the PRIS Universities Network. From 2022-24 she served on Australia’s National Robotics Strategy Advisory Committee and National Artificial Intelligence Centre’s Responsible AI Think Tank

Julia studied genetics, biophysics, and law at the Australian National University and University of Western Australia, and received her master’s from the University of Oxford and PhD from the University of Cambridge.