(Big) data and the north-in-south: Australia's informational imperialism and digital colonialism

Monique Mann, Angela Daly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Australia is a country firmly part of the Global North, yet geographically located in the Global South. This North-in-South divide plays out internally within Australia given its status as a British settler-colonial society which continues to perpetrate imperial and colonial practices vis-à-vis the Indigenous peoples and vis-à-vis Australia’s neighboring countries in the Asia-Pacific region. This article draws on and discusses five seminal examples forming a case study on Australia to examine big data practices through the lens of Southern Theory from a criminological perspective. We argue that Australia’s use of big data cements its status as a North-in-South environment where colonial domination is continued via modern technologies to effect enduring informational imperialism and digital colonialism. We conclude by outlining some promising ways in which data practices can be decolonized through Indigenous Data Sovereignty but acknowledge these are not currently the norm; so Australia’s digital colonialism/coloniality endures for the time being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-395
Number of pages17
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number4
Early online date26 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Australia
  • big data
  • data colonialism
  • southern criminology
  • southern theory


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