Course ID: 207536
This seminar focuses on the challenges of protecting information privacy against the threat of emerging technologies (such as biotechnologies, internet communication technologies, information tracking technologies, cloud computing, biometrics, and surveillance technologies to name a few). Information has been central to the form and function of the knowledge economy and plays a vital role as between individuals and in relationship with the state, raising issues related to control, access, aggregation, storage, retrieval, use, retention, deletion, and dissemination. Privacy in private and public spaces has long been an area for legal debate. In an era when data collection and data trails have become ubiquitous, however, new technologies operationally interrogate existing dominant conceptions of privacy and introduce fresh areas for legal contestation that question the need for a coherent theoretical framework. This course will survey the mixed regulatory mechanisms available for protecting privacy in Canadian law, ranging from constitutional to statutory, common law and criminal protections, and will examine how normative conceptual understandings of privacy, and attendant perceptions of any necessary trade-offs, mediate new technologies, civil liberties, democratic values, public policy, law and reform efforts. Whether there is a normative moral claim for protecting privacy beyond our reasonable expectation becomes a critically pressing concern if we are to accept the idea that we live in a surveillance society. The course asks the questions of protection of ""what"" (what counts as personal information) from ""whom"" (are there differences to be drawn between the private and public holders and uses of such information), ""how"" (from collection, use, and disclosure), and the implications that such inquiries may have on forms of consent and fair information practices, in order to debate the regulatory and legal responses that may be necessary and ""why"". Cross listed with LAW 877.
Assessment Method: Essay/Papers 55%, Assignments 20%, Participation 25%
Degree Requirement Fulfilled: Substantial Term Paper