Innovation, disruption and the changing economy

Technological innovation has provided many benefits to business and consumers by way of improved services, new business opportunities and new markets for consumer to consumer transactions. These benefits also present new challenges for existing legal frameworks – how can they respond to disruption of existing markets, changes in consumer behaviour and the creation of new markets for consumer or personal data?

Our research impacts

We study how digital environments are governed and shaped by different actors, and how societies can better protect the rights of citizens digital age. Our researchers are investigating: 

  • the role of digital platform providers and technology companies in regulating society  
  • legal, ethical and policy challenges of robo-advice, expert systems and artificial intelligence for advisers and consumers 
  • impacts of smart contracts and blockchain technology on contract law and security of property data 
  • the role of information privacy, consumer and competition law regulatory frameworks in the control and protection of data
  • how access to knowledge and culture can be improved through information commons to promote a flourishing, creative, and innovative society. 

A key question for policymakers is whether regulatory intervention is required and, if so, the appropriate form of intervention. The pace of technological advances and adoption by business strains traditional regulatory approaches and raises a need for more agile or flexible regulatory solutions.

Theme leader


  • Professor Sharon Christensen

    Sharon Christensen is the Gadens Professor in Property Law and Co-Director of the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre in the Law Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. Professor Christensen’s research is influential in driving government policy, law reform and industry change at the intersection of property laws, consumer protection...

Funded projects