The set of issues associated with the collection, storage, processing and disclosure of personal information has inspired different research projects over my entire career. I have studied the politics of privacy, and the governance of the issue in different states, as well as internationally. How states respond to this question says much about their distinctive institutional and cultural traditions, as well as about the impact of globalization. The political response to these similar cross-national trends reveals much about the abilities of states, acting independently and in concert, to manage technological change.
I have also written about the increasing levels of surveillance in modern life, and about peoples’ attitudes towards these trends. I have tried to understand how particular information technologies, such as video-surveillance, intelligent transportation systems and identity cards, are regulated in different countries with different institutions and political cultures. I also consider myself an advocate, and try to advance my ideas in the media and within governmental and legislative arenas, and to the large international network of privacy advocates and regulators.
I am currently involved in a research project on “Big Data Surveillance,” focusing on the capture and use of personal information by political parties. This research considers voter surveillance practices in comparative perspective, looking at issues around the use of personal data to track voters and influence political behaviour. For more information about this project, and other recent and ongoing research, click here.
I am very interested in working with honours and graduate students on these and related subjects. Prior and current students have conducted research on: identity cards, deep packet inspection on the Internet, surveillance at the Winter Olympics, the enhanced drivers license, ID scanning in bars, aboriginal health databases, online advertising and surveillance, Human resources databases, and others.
At the undergraduate level, I teach courses on US and comparative politics, as well as a more specialized course on the “Politics of Information.” Details on our undergraduate and graduate programs can be found at: http://www.uvic.ca/socialsciences/politicalscience/.