Understanding surveillance and privacy from multiple perspectives

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

It’s no secret that our everyday technologies gather personal data. But these increasingly entrenched conveniences, from Internet of Things-enabled Smart TVs to online voting systems to crowdfunding platforms, can also perform harmful surveillance.

Knowing how tools track user behaviour and collect personal information is important. Understanding their implications for social inequality within Canada and globally is perhaps even more pressing. What’s more, the challenge demands multiple areas of expertise.

That’s where an interdisciplinary graduate course called Surveillance and Privacy comes into play. First offered to graduate students across the university in fall 2020, the course was developed and taught by Professor Jennifer Whitson from Sociology and Legal Studies in Arts and Professor Ian Goldberg from Computer Science in Math. The course examined privacy within society and challenged the students to develop projects demonstrating how interventions into privacy violations, censorship, and digital discrimination need to leverage interdisciplinary perspectives to be successful.

Read more on how Arts and Math professors team up to foster interdisciplinary graduate training in cybersecurity.

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