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Ensuring Privacy and Security

May 7, 2009

KMDI at 13, Knowledge Media Design Institute Lecture Series in “Digital Media Research and Innovation at the University of Toronto”, Part II.

Date: Thursday May 7th, 2009
Time: 4:10 pm – 6:00 pm
Place: Claude T. Bissell Building, Room 205, 140 St. George Street, University of Toronto St. George Campus


“Privacy, ID Cards and Public Participation in Identity Policy Making” by Andrew Clement, Faculty of Information

Abstract: The ID cards that one uses for everyday transactions are currently undergoing a significant transformation. Driven by multiple actors and a heightened pre-occupation with ‘security’ since 9/11, many jurisdictions worldwide are ‘enhancing’ their identity schemes through incorporation of new technologies such as radio-frequency ID (RFID) chips and biometric screening. Such developments are often accompanied by public controversy and unfulfilled expectations.
This presentation examines Ontario’s promotion of an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) as an example of this trend, and finds it deeply flawed in terms of claimed benefits, potential risks, and political deliberation. Drawing upon policy oriented and ethnographically informed fieldwork, this talk explores alternative approaches to developing ID schemes that better serve the public interest.  The role that various knowledge media, such as videos, comics, photographic art and agit-prop technical demonstrations, can play in engaging citizens in ID policy making are highlighted.

Brief Bio: Andrew Clement is a Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, where he coordinates the Information Policy Research Program and is a co-founder of the Identity, Privacy and Security Initiative.

He has had longstanding research and teaching interests in the social implications of information/communication technology and human-centred systems development. His recent research has focused on public information policy, internet use in everyday life, digital identity constructions, public participation in information/communication infrastructure development, and community networking.

Andrew is the principal investigator of the Performing Identities project and a co-investigator in The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting project, both funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

“Technological Challenges in Ensuring Privacy and Security” by Kostas Plataniotis, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Abstract: The objective of this presentation is to review the state-of-the-art in surveillance and biometrics-based security with particular emphasis on solutions for proactive surveillance and behavioural monitoring. The presentation will highlight key technical challenges, open research questions and outline recent technical advances. A robust framework that allows for proactive authentication and monitoring of individual behavior will be briefly discussed. Finally, the presentation will briefly discuss the development of a visual surveillance system which allows users to control access to their private visual data using cryptographic keys.

Brief Bio: [1] K.N. (Kostas) Plataniotis is a Professor with the ECE Department at the University of Toronto. His research interests are: multimedia systems, biometrics, image & signal processing, communications systems and pattern recognition. He is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, and the Editor-in-Chief (2009-2011) for the IEEE Signal Processing Letters.


The talk will be webcast live & an archive will be available.  For instructions to view the webcast and further information, please visit:

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