Researchers

The Canadian Access to Social Media Information (CATSMI) Project is undertaken by academic researchers at the University of Victoria. Dr. Colin J. Bennett and Christopher Parsons are the Project’s co-investigators, and Adam Molnar is a project collaborator.

Colin J. Bennett

Political Science, University of Victoria, Canada

Colin received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Wales, and his Ph.D from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Since 1986 he has taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he is now Professor.  From 1999-2000, he was a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  In 2007 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at University of California, Berkeley.  In 2010, he was Visiting Professor at the School of Law, University of New South Wales.  In 2013, he is Visiting Professor with the Law, Science, Technology and Society Centre at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels.

His research has focused on the comparative analysis of surveillance technologies and privacy protection policies at the domestic and international levels. In addition to numerous scholarly and newspaper articles, he has published six books: Regulating Privacy: Data Protection and Public Policy in Europe and the United States (Cornell University Press, 1992); Visions of Privacy: Policy Choices for the Digital Age (University of Toronto Press, 1999, co-edited with Rebecca Grant); The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in the Digital Age (The MIT Press, 2006 with Charles Raab); The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance (The MIT Press, 2008); Playing the Identity Card: Surveillance, Security and Identification in Global Perspective (Routledge, 2008 co-edited with David Lyon); and Security Games: Surveillance and Control at Mega-Events. He has completed policy reports on privacy protection for the Canadian government, the Canadian Standards Association, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the European Commission, the UK Information Commissioner and others. He is currently the co-investigator of a large Major Collaborative Research Initiative grant entitled “The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting.”  

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Christopher Parsons

Political Science, University of Victoria, Canada

Christopher’s research, teaching, and consulting interests involve how privacy is affected by digitally mediated surveillance, and the normative implications that such surveillance has in (and on) contemporary Western political systems.   

Christopher has written policy reports for civil advocacy organizations in Canada, submitted evidence to Parliamentary committees, and been an active member of the Canadian privacy advocacy community. He has been involved in projects examining lawful access legislation in Canada and abroad, identity management systems in Canada, automatic license plate recognition technologies in Canada and the UK, and network management practices in Canada. He is currently completing a dissertation that examines the political drivers of Internet service providers’ network surveillance practices.

Christopher has published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, European Journal of Law and Technology, Canadian Privacy Law Review, CTheory, and has book chapters in a series of academic and popular books and reports. His research has been funded by SSHRC, the New Transparency Project, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner's contributions programs, and by civil advocacy organizations. He regularly presents his research to government, media, the public, and at academic events.

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Adam Molnar

Political Science, University of Victoria, Canada

Adam’s teaching, research, and consulting interests examine the relations between a range of digitally mediated surveillance practices and information privacy, particularly in the areas of policing, national security, public safety governance. 

Adam is currently finishing his P.h.D. in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. His dissertation focuses on the legacies of integrated security and policing initiatives associated with major sporting events, with an empirical focus on the legal, technical, and policy transformations of security, military, intelligence, and policing institutions. Adam has published book chapters and policy reports from this research, as well as with projects that examine the security and privacy implications of identity management systems in Canada, civilian-military relations and disaster management, and wider practices of surveillance and law enforcement, including a particular focus on policing and Web 2.0 environments. His research is funded by SSHRC, the New Transparency Project, The Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s contributions programs and civil society organizations, and has been presented to law enforcement communities, privacy advocates, and media. In the fall of 2013, he will be assuming a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Queen’s University’s Surveillance Studies Centre.

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