Mr Watts is one of Australia’s leading data protection experts with experience as a regulator, policy maker, advisor and public and private sector lawyer. He has had a significant career in the public sector focused on privacy and data security, in addition to having been a key researcher in the Data to Decisions (D2D) Cooperative Research Centre while an Adjunct Professor of Law at Deakin University (2016-2019) and a Professor of Practice at La Trobe University (2018-2020). He is currently completing a Doctorate of Juridical Science at Monash University. Following senior appointments in the Victorian Department of Human Services and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, Mr Watts served as Victoria’s Commissioner for Law Enforcement Data Security (2008-2014) and Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection (2014-2017). Mr Watts was responsible for developing the Victorian Protective Data Security Framework and the Victorian Protective Data Security Standards.
He is a leader in strategic advice and has developed guidance to support information sharing, implement privacy by design and adopt safeguards for big data and technologies such as cloud computing and biometrics. Mr Watts has a well-developed understanding of the cybersecurity domain from multiple perspectives – policy, practice and research, and has written and spoken widely on topics relevant to cybersecurity. Mr Watts has had considerable experience chairing various groups and been a Director of multiple Boards in the commercial, NFP and education sectors.