Canadian privacy project underway OTTAWA, DECEMBER 8, 2003 - As information technology makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to keep their identities anonymous and their activities private, a University of Ottawa law professor is leading a $4 million, multi-year study of the prospects for personal privacy in our increasingly networked society. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has contributed almost $3 million for the project, one of the largest grants the federal agency has ever provided. Corporate sponsors, including Bell Canada, IBM, and Entrust Technologies, have provided an additional $1 million.

Canada Research Chair Ian Kerr will direct the work of a 23-member research team that includes leading privacy experts from around the world. That team includes Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Washington D.C. based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Stephanie Perrin, one of Canada's foremost privacy experts, and Steve Mann, the pioneer of "wearable" computing and other cyborg technologies. These researchers and other research partners, along with more than 80 students will work on this project over the next four years in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary investigation of the architectures of authentication and surveillance, and the legal and behavioural implications of anonymity and our impending loss of it. Can the trend be reversed? Many of these researchers will be examining the technical, legal, and political choices we must make to safeguard our privacy in tomorrow's world. Stay tuned.