An Open Letter for Signature by ACS Members and Ex-Members

Including Signatories during the period 2-21 October 2019 (revs Nov 19, Jan 20)

Roger Clarke

This document is at


The Australian Computer Society (ACS) announced in mid-September 2019 its "acquisition" of four organisations.

One of them is the long-running industry association, the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), which is a longstanding industry association for consumer marketing corporations.

Industry associations are an important form of organisation that represent the interests of corporations. Many ACS members run or are employed by organisations which are members of industry associations.

ADMA originated as an association of direct mailing companies. The 'DM' was changed to refer to 'Direct Marketing'. It's been recently updated again, to 'Data-Driven Marketing'. Throughout its long life, ADMA has always been committed to the interests of consumer marketing corporations.

Currently, consumer marketers have the greatest power they've ever enjoyed over consumers. In the contemporary digital surveillance economy, the dominant business model involves expropriation of vast quantities of consumer data, mostly gained surreptitiously, use of that data to manipulate consumer behaviour, and use of the resulting power to extract high prices from each individual.

Professional societies are a very different category of organisation. They are concerned with the interests of professionals. Unlike an industry association, however, a professional society like the ACS places a high priority on the obligations of its members to the people who are affected by the practice of the profession.

This is reflected in the ACS Code of Professional Conduct:

1. The Primacy of the Public Interest

You will place the interests of the public above those of personal, business or sectional interests. ...

Critics of ADMA's behaviour over the last decades perceive it to:

It is, in short, completely untenable for ACS to absorb ADMA into itself, or even to enter into any form of partnership with it.

There may of course be circumstances in which ADMA, other industry associations, and ACS and other professional societies adopt similar stances on particular issues. But there will be far more circumstances in which ACS's stance will be significantly different from ADMA's, and some are likely to be completely opposite to ADMA's.

Open Letter for Signature

The undersigned declare that:

  1. the ACS is and must remain a professional society
  2. the nature and responsibilities of a professional society are completely incompatible with those of an industry association
  3. the governance of a professional society must be strongly member-driven, and not managed in the manner of a corporation

The undersigned call on the ACS to:

  1. cancel the project to to affiliate ADMA with the ACS in any way, including to acquire it or otherwise absorb it into the ACS
  2. review the projects to "absorb into the ACS fold" the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), Digital + Technology Collective (D+TC) and Data Governance Australia (DGA), and to implement those projects only if, and to the extent that, this can be done without compromise to the ACS's nature and responsibilities as a professional society
  3. review and amend the governance structures and processes of the ACS in order to remove its managerialist aspects, re-assert the values of a member-driven professional society and re-orient the Society's focus away from commercial activities and back to its primary functions

How to Sign Up



In alpha order by surname

  1. David Arnott FACS; longstanding Professor of IS, Monash Uni
  2. Amit Bahuguna MACS CP; practitioner, public sector
  3. Paul Bailes FACS; longstanding Professor of Computer Science and Head of School, UQ; ACS Vice-President (Academic) 2013-16
  4. Chris Barter FACS; longstanding Professor of Computer Science, Uni of Adelaide; Founder of Camtech Pty Ltd
  5. Craig Baty MACS CP; practitioner, C-Level executive, Board member, ICT consultant and analyst, AIIA NSW Council member; Vice-Chair NSW Branch Committee, member since 1984
  6. Jenine Beekhuyzen ex-Member: Practitioner, Adjunct Professor Griffith Uni, Honorary Fellow Deakin Uni
  7. David Bennett FACS; software business owner; ACS Fellows Committee
  8. Graeme Bond FACS; practitioner
  9. Mike Bowern FACS; longstanding IS practitioner, manager and consultant; ACS Economic, Legal and Social Implications Committee; ACS Committee on Computer Ethics
  10. Tim Boye Student Member
  11. Netwon Braga MACS Snr CP; longstanding practitioner
  12. Robin Buckley MACS Snr; practitioner
  13. Frada Burstein FACS; professor of IS, Monash Uni; ACS member since 1994, member of ACS Vic ICT for Women
  14. Jack Burton FACS CP; computing and FOSS consultancy; ACS SA Branch Committees incl. as Chair; ACS Council, Management Committee and Congress 2007-11; ACS Professional Development Board 2008-12; OSIA Director since 2011 incl. as Chair
  15. Bill Caelli FACS AO; cybersecurity consultant, longstanding professor of computer science and information security, QUT; ACS Cybersecurity Committee
  16. Chris Chaundy MACS Snr; retired senior network engineer, foundation auDA Board member
  17. Ian Chisholm, MACS Snr; practitioner
  18. Roger Clarke FACS, ANCCAC Medal; longstanding consultant in IT strategy and policy; Visiting Professor in Computer Science (ANU) and in Law (UNSW); ACS NSW Privacy SIG 1972-76; ACS Canberra Branch Committee 1984-88; Director, ACS Community Affairs Board, 1989-92; Chair, ACS Economic, Legal and Social Implications Committee, 1985-95; Co-Author ACS Accreditation Requirements, 1989
  19. Rod Dilnutt FACS FBCS; management consultant; ACS Director, Membership Advisory Board
  20. Vladimir Estivill-Castro Ex-MACS; longstanding professor of computer science, Griffith Uni
  21. Alan Fekete MACS; longstanding professor of coimputer science and enterprise software systems
  22. Walter Fernandez Past Member; practitioner, now professor of IS, UNSW; ACS Qld Branch Committee
  23. Erwin Fielt MACS CP; academic
  24. Jeff Ferguson FACS; practitioner, academic in Australia and internationally; ACS NSW Branch Committee
  25. Kate Fuelling MACS; consultant
  26. Mohan Ganavarapu MACS CP; Trainer and Assessor
  27. Ashley Goldsworthy FACS HLM AO OBE KSS KM, Pearcey Hall of Fame; longstanding senior IT manager, senior business executive, Liberal Party President and Business School Dean at Bond University; ACS President; IFIP World President and Honorary Member
  28. Doug Grant FACS CP; former Dean of Faculty of IT, Swinburne Uni; ACS Professional Standards Board Chair 2009 - 2011, ACS Vice President, Membership Board 2012 - 2013
  29. Shirley Gregor FACS AO; practitioner, then longstanding Professor of Information Systems at ANU; ACS Professional Standards Board Director
  30. Jacky Hartnett MACS Snr CP; longstanding academic, Uni Tas; ACS Academic Vice-President; longstanding ACS Tas Branch Committee
  31. Malcolm Hill FACS; longstanding practitioner on major public and private sector projects; ACS SA Branch Treasurer
  32. Brand Hoff FACS AM, Pearcey Hall of Fame, Pearcey Medal; serial IT entrepreneur, NICTA Director
  33. John Hurst MACS Snr;  longstanding senior academic in computer science at Monash Uni;  ACS Professional Education Governance Board, ACS Accreditation Panel Chair
  34. Julie James FACS; retired from 45 years of diverse IS/IT experience; ACS Software Industry Committee
  35. Peter Juliff FACS HLM AM, Murton Award, IFIP Silver Core; longstanding Professor of Information Systems, Deakin University; ACS Victoria Branch Committee for 20 years incl. several years as Chair; ACS Management Committee; ACS Chief Examiner; Chair of IFIP WG3.4, Vocational Education
  36. Peter Kalkman FACS; retired practitioner; ACS Vice President, ACT Branch Chair, ACT and Queensland Branch Executive Committee member
  37. Karlheinz Kautz FACS; professor of IS / Digital Business, RMIT Uni
  38. Dale Kleeman ACS Ex-member; longstanding practitioner, then academic
  39. Michael Lane AACS; information systems academic
  40. Bruce Linn FACS AM; longstanding IT practitioner, senior business executive & CEO, company director
  41. Richard Lucas FACS CP; longstanding consultancy in professional and business ethics; ACS Committee on Computer Ethics
  42. Philip McCrea FACS;  longstanding CEO of medium-sized IT companies, company director;  Co-Chair of the NSW Pearcey Committee
  43. Craig McDonald FACS; longstanding professor of Informatics; ACS Accreditation Panel Chair and consultant, ACS Ethics Committee, ACS Accreditation Committee, ACS Canberra Branch Executive, ACS Examiner
  44. Helen Elizabeth McHugh MACS Snr CP; practitioner, ambassadore, daughter of one of the founding fathers of the Australian ICT Industry; ACS NSW Vice Chair NSW, ACSW National Vice Chair, ACSW NSW Chair
  45. Dale MacKrell MACS Snr; academic, ANU; ACS representative on IFIP TC8 (Information Systems)
  46. Geoff McClelland MACS; practitioner, C-level executive
  47. Michael Malone FACS; founder and longstanding CEO of iinet, company director, including of NBNCo; longstanding Internet consumer rights advocate
  48. John Marquet FACS; award-winning software developer; ACS Vic Branch Executive
  49. Raina Mason MACS Snr; IT Lead and Senior Lecturer, Southern Cross University
  50. Jeff Mitchell MACS CP; practitioner, government and small business; Hon Treasurer Canberra ACS
  51. Ann Moffatt FACS FBCS, Pearcey Hall of Fame; longstanding practitioner; longstanding service to industry and professional associations; ACS NSW Branch Committee, incl. Chair 1985-87; BCS Council member 1972
  52. Brenda Moon MACS Snr CP; longstanding practitioner, now academic and data scientist at QUT; ACS member since 1984
  53. Sebastian Ng MACS Snr; senior academic and department head, Swinburne Uni; ACS Accreditation Panel Member
  54. John O'Callaghan MACS, Pearcey Medal; practitioner and researcher in geographical IS and supercomputing
  55. Vincent Pang MACS Snr; academic
  56. Roger Penhale MACS CP; retired senior IT project manager
  57. Graeme Philipson AACS; writer; writer of the ACS-sponsored 'A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing'
  58. Karl Reed FACS HLM; longstanding senior academic, RMIT and La Trobe Universities; longstanding Director of the ACS Computer Systems and Software Engineering Board (1993-2006); longstanding Chair of the ACS Software Industry Committee (1974-1989); ACS Victoria Branch Chair (1990)
  59. John Roddick FACS; Professor of Computer Science and Head of Engineering at Flinders University; ACS SA Branch Committee member
  60. Arthur Sale FACS, ANCCAC Medal; longstanding Professor of Computer Science and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Uni of Tasmania; Co-Founder of ACS Tasmania Branch; Chair and Vice-Chair ACS Tasmanian Branch Executive Committee; ACS Councillor
  61. Jennifer Seberry FACS; longstanding professor of Computer and Information Security, Uni of Wollongong
  62. Dharmendra Sharma AM FACS; longstanding professor of computer science, Uni Canberra
  63. Jun Shen MACS Snr; senior academic, Uni of Wollongong
  64. Benjamin Smith MACS CP; practitioner; ACS NT Branch Committee
  65. Robin Stanton FACS FTSE, Pearcey Hall of Fame; longstanding Professor of Computer Science and Pro Vice-Chancellor, ANU
  66. Ewan Thompson MACS CP; longstanding IT practitioner, senior business executive, company director
  67. Robert I. Thompson MACS Snr HLM; retired academic
  68. Mark Toleman MACS; professor of IS, USQ
  69. Gavin Trigg MACS; retired practitioner
  70. Paul Turner MACS; longstanding senior academic in IS, Uni Tas; ACS Tas Branch Committee
  71. Tim Turner FACS; longstanding IT professional in government, private sector and academia; ACS Canberra Branch Committee incl. Chair 2015-17
  72. Ted Wastie FACS HLM; retired chief executive; ACS National President, Council Member, N.S.W.Branch Chairman
  73. John Weckert MACS, Covey Award; longstanding Professor of Information Technology and of Computer Ethics, CSU; ACS Ethics Committee incl. supporting case studies; ACS representative on IFIP TC9, Computers and Society, 1998-2014
  74. Devindra Weerasooriya MACS Snr; computer architect
  75. Marcus Wigan FACS; consultant and academic; ACS Professional Ethics Committee, ACS Economic Legal and Social Implications Committee; ACS Communications Board
  76. David Wood FACS CP; semi-retired practitioner
  77. John Zeleznikow ex-Member; Professor of Decision Support and Dispute Management, Victoria University; Chair ACS Database Technical Committee