understanding the importance and impact of anonymity and authentication in a networked society
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On the Identity Trail Team Meeting and Student Salon Precede the Concealed I Conference

Team members of the SSHRC-funded On the Identity Trail project held their 2005 spring meeting in Ottawa on March 3.  The Student Salon provided an opportunity for students to highlight their work and to exchange ideas on privacy and related topics.  The students and faculty in attendance received presentations from students from the faculties of law of the Universities of Ottawa and Toronto, as well as a keynote address from renowned sociologist and surveillance expert, Professor Emeritus Gary Marx.  The team meeting also preceded a very successful two-day conference, the Concealed I, which saw many researchers attached to the project giving presentations as well as receiving presentations from renowned scholars from a number of disciplines.

Ian Kerr, Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa and Principal Investigator of the On the Identity Trail project, provided the team with an update on the upcoming conference and the Project's newly created Manager Position and received a commitment from team members to produce at least one piece annually for the blog*on*nymity.

Stephanie Perrin, former Research Coordinator of the On the Identity Trail project, President, Digital Discretion Inc. and Senior Fellow, Electronic Privacy Information Center, provided team members with an update on the then upcoming 15th Annual Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy, Keeping an Eye on the Panopticon: Workshop on Vanishing Anonymity, Seattle, April 12, 2005.  The Workshop, a product of the On the Identity Trail project, involved many of the team members who presented papers.

Stephanie described the plan to emphasize the Workshop's topic by attaching surveillance  (camera) domes to the Conference's kit bags - a task that required the help of team members attending the conference. In addition to hosting a full-day workshop, On the Identity Trail project team also organized and participated in the CFP Conference's opening keynote panel, Sousveillance in the Panopticon.

Valerie Steeves, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa and Marsha Hanen, President of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership, announced the receipt of funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council to develop educational outreach models, including in-class and on-line activities, that will engage secondary school students in thinking about privacy and identity issues.

Marsha then announced the upcoming Chumir Foundation Privacy Fora on privacy and anonymity, a knowledge mobilization innitative for Western Canada.

Team members then joined their respective research tracks to discuss plans for years 3 and 4 of the project, which were then reported to and discussed by the full team.  

Steven Davis and David Matheson provided the team with an update on On the Identity Trail's second conference, Contours of Privacy, to be held in November 2005.

The formal meeting ended with an invitation from Steve Mann to join him poolside to experience and investigate his most recent invention, the 'Funtain' - a musical instrument played by holding down jets of water.

The team continued discussions over dinner at the Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro and listened to a fascinating presentation from Valerie Steeves on the techniques being deployed on the Internet to extract personal information from children and youth.

The team ended its event packed day at the Launch Party for the Concealed "I" Conference at Bar 56 in Ottawa's Byward Market.

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This is a SSHRC funded project:
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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