The Privacy & Cyber Crime Institute

The Privacy Institute undertakes research about privacy and cyber crime issues such as workplace surveillance, biometrics, monitoring, identity theft, security breaches, and online social networks.

Find out about special conferences, upcoming talks and presentations on our Events page.

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Ryerson's CASL website is now live!

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Ryerson's CASL website is available at http://www.ryerson.ca/gcbs/casl.html. Please note that a PDF version of a slide deck available as well.

If you have any questions about the materials, please send your inquiries to casl@ryerson.ca.

 

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Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, appointed Executive Director of the Ryerson University Institute for Privacy and Big Data

March 19, 2014

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Ryerson University today announced the appointment of Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, as the Executive Director of the new Ryerson University Institute for Privacy and Big Data. Currently a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson, Dr. Cavoukian’s appointment will take effect at the conclusion of her unprecedented third term as Commissioner, on July 1, 2014.

Click here to read more

 

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Cavoukian & Levin: Metadata surveillance is an invasion of our privacy

February 10th, 2014

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The Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Ann Cavoukian, and the Director of the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute at Ryerson University, Avner Levin, comment on the topic of surveillance, collection of metadata and how it affects Canadians in this National Post article.

In “several seconds,” the analysis gleaned from two weeks of our metadata can be far more revealing than anything overheard during an hour-long phone call.

Continue reading

 

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What's hidden among The Internet of Things?

January 20, 2014

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DMZ-based entrepreneur Robert Platek and Professor Avner Levin, Director of the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute, discussed our ultra-connected future on CBC's The Current 93 with Anna Maria Tremonti: listen to the audio recording of the podcast (25 minutes)

 

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DRONE PROTEST AGAINST ILLEGAL VIDEO SURVEILLANCE IN PUBLIC PLACES

December 3, 2013

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Researchers at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, in collaboration with privacy advocates at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, flew a sign bearing drone near the Toronto Eaton’s Centre to draw attention to the widespread illegal video surveillance of public places.

The quadcopter drone carried a bright yellow sign reading ILLEGAL CAMERA and positioned it directly in front of an offending camera. The four-sided sign intended to simultaneously alert the surveillance operators that their installation is not compliant with Canadian privacy standards, while symbolically protecting both passersby and the surveillance operators from the illegal capture of personal information.

Prof. Andrew Clement, a surveillance researcher at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, notes that Canadian privacy law requires video surveillance operators to properly inform the people they capture on camera about what they doing with their images. Our research shows clearly that almost no company does this, as most don’t even put up a sign. “Sadly, just pointing out to companies that they’re breaking the law is not enough to get them to reform. I hope that this stunt will encourage surveillance operators to take their legal responsibilities more seriously.”

Prof. Avner Levin, Chair, Law & Business Department, Ted Rogers School of Management and Director of the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute at Ryerson University, stated “Our drone calls the attention of Canadians - and our privacy commissioners - to this long-abused yet easily-corrected surveillance practice. We should not have to tolerate the violation of the law any further.”

Sukanya Pillay, Acting Executive Director and Interim General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, noted that our civil liberties, as well as the laws intended to protect them are vital, but can’t be taken for granted. “When organizations, whether public or private, routinely flout privacy laws, all our liberties are at greater risk.”

The Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) of the Department of Computer Science at Ryerson University supported the event in order to expand the debate on the use of UAVs and the broader context of surveillance for reasons of public safety. Prof. Alex Ferworn noted that, "New technologies for surveillance have outpaced our society's ability to create public policy for their governance. Our UAV surveils a CCTV camera which surveils our UAV -- There are no effective rules for either activity".

The drone was flown by Chris Kong and Jimmy Tran of N-CART.

Click here to read more

 

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OUTSOURCING SURVEILLANCE

Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute's Director Avner Levin interviewed for PEN CANADA

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PEN Canada asked Avner Levin, Director of Ryerson University’s Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute, to consider the complications that may arise when information sharing arrangements allow national security agencies to circumvent strictures on domestic surveillance. Following that conversation, an article "Outsourcing Surveillance" was published, which you can read at this link: http://pencanada.ca/blog/on-backdoor-information-access/.

 

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International Comparison of Cyber Crime 2013

Read our 2013 report International Comparison of Cyber Crime and access other publications by The Institute here: http://www.ryerson.ca/tedrogersschool/privacy/Publications/latest-research/

 

Facebook Link

 

 

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

 

  • Howard Simkevitz and Avner Levin are the authors of a new book, "The Law of Employee Use of Technology".

The Law of Employee Use of Technology by Howard Simkevitz and Avner Levin

  • Roy Ng is the author of a chapter on Information Security Assurance and Risk Management in a new book dealing with the subject.

Roy Ng is the author of a chapter on Information Security Assurance and Risk Management

 

  • Wendy Cukier and Avner Levin are the authors of a chapter on cyber-crime in a new book, now out, titled “Crimes of the Internet”.

Wendy Cukier and Avner Levin are the authors of a chapter on cyber-crime in a new book, now out, titled Crimes of the Internet.