The most enjoyable and easily most rewarding aspect of my job is working highly talented students. Teaching is fulfilling in this regard, but surely second fiddle to team work and the chance to get to know students outside of the constructs and constraints of the classroom. I once said to one of my researchers that I am incredibly fortunate to find myself surrounded by such excellent people. He quickly set me straight, reminding me that our happy situation was no fluke and that students select the professors they work with just as much as the professors select them. I took his chiding to be a compliment of the highest order and always keep my fingers crossed that what he said is true.
This portion of my site belongs to the members of my research team and some of my alum. It is meant to demonstrate their many talents, attribute credit to them for the work they are doing, offer them a space to express their own interests, outputs and activities, and, with any luck, inspire the future recruitment of like individuals.
Having long been active in grassroots human rights advocacy, Andrew undertook legal studies to pursue social change on another level. While still deciding what form this will take in practice, his experience so far at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law has been outstanding. He considers himself very fortunate to have benefitted from interacting with so many brilliant and enthusiastic professors and fellow students. Apart from his classes, Andrew currently spends his time working with the Law Union at the University of Ottawa and ACORN Ottawa. He also holds a position as a Fellow with the Faculty of Law’s … Read more
From “away” as Haligonians like to say, Anne arrived in Ottawa with her two children, Spencer and Kate in September 2006 to take up doctoral studies in the law and technology programme under the supervision of Dr. Ian Kerr. She dismisses those who call her brave for such an undertaking, saying it was merely a great opportunity to get away from the east coast fog and rain. Now fully entrenched in Ottawa-life, Anne juggles her time between school and kids. They are avid movie fans, skaters, bikers, pizza lovers and the thrill of fast scary roller coasters and steep water … Read more
You can’t install carpet in a home you expect Beatrice to live in – she’s been destroying rugs with her dancing shoes before she even lost her baby teeth. Since she was a little girl, she has tried out all different kinds of dance ranging from jazz to ballroom and settled on salsa dancing as her favorite. While pursuing all different kinds of dance styles, she decided she better use the analytical part of her brain as well, and nothing says a balanced lifestyle like business school :p After four years of exploring the business world at the Schulich School … Read more
If Charlotte had a mantra, it might go something like this: ‘To learn nothing from the past is to remain forever a child’ (paraphrased from Cicero). Propelled by this conviction, she pursued an Honours BA in international relations at the University of Toronto, focusing primarily on the link between a nation’s current social & political landscapes and the (complex and often tumultuous) history of its foreign relations. Though this program provided her with many fond memories and foundational academic skills, by the time she graduated, Charlotte realized that her passion lay in decoding the behaviours of individuals, not countries and … Read more
Devon tends to do things out of sequence. She has been known to eat dessert before the main course; read the final chapter of a novel first; and work as a senior administrator of a law school before obtaining a law degree. Now that she is a law student, she is hoping to put her knowledge of doing things out of sequence to good use. Devon thinks it is important to consider the social, ethical and legal implications of technologies before they are integrated into our lives. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with Ian on these issues, … Read more
Diana shares Ian’s curiosity about robots – in fact she wanted to investigate whether Ian actually is a robot. She thought the best way to go about doing this would be to infiltrate his research team. So, in the summer before Diana’s final year of law school, she wrote to Ian to request that he supervise her research. Ian wasn’t immediately sold – perhaps he suspected that she was onto his identity trail. He asked Diana to send him her resume, a couple of proposals, and arranged a phone chat (during her working hours at a law firm, no less). … Read more
Eliot is part human, part mobile internet device. He enjoys making websites (he made the one you’re looking at right now!). He also thinks about the political implications of technological transformation and the social effects of virtual space (a phrase he used often while enrolled in a PhD, the end of which remains beyond the distant horizon). Eliot enjoys being busy. He therefore felt it perfectly logical to join the Common Law program at the University of Ottawa. Along the way, he is learning that law school is where he should have been this whole time. When not checking items … Read more
Jason Millar is a PhD student in the Philosophy department at Queen’s University at Kingston. His interests lie at the intersection of ethics, technology and society. His current research focuses on applied ethics and science and technology studies, with particular interests in the democratization of science and technology and the (bio)ethical issues surrounding robotics, transhumanism and the human-machine merger. Jason earned a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University and worked as an engineer for several years prior to earning a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. While at the University of Ottawa he worked for … Read more
Jennifer is the embodiment of john lennon’s line that “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Throughout her childhood she was never sure what she wanted to be when she grew up, only that the one thing she would never be was a lawyer. To her own surprise she headed off to law school following her degree in womyn’s studies and somehow ended up working for “the man” as a government lawyer. Seeking new challenges she began her LL.M. in Law and Technology part-time at the University of Ottawa and was promptly seduced back into the world … Read more
When Jess took breaks from her undergrad studies in Victoria, she would go to contemporary dance classes where her not-so-funny friends would hum the Broadway tune, “What do you do with a BA in English?” So far, in defiance to that existential chill of a question, she’s come up with two answers. First, she moved back to Edmonton after graduation and worked as a broadcast journalist for four years. This taught her the true meaning of deadlines and precise writing. Second, she was lucky enough to land a position working for Ian. Jess is now contemplating how privacy and due … Read more
Before starting law school Meenakshi (Meena) spent most of her time reading and analyzing the wiggly heart rhythms from electrocardiograms (EKGs) and working on some groundbreaking cardiology research projects at a leading cardiac center in Toronto. While working with pacemakers, implantable defibrillators and similar cardiac devices, she was intrigued by oh so fascinating interface of law and medicine. To materialize this curiosity she started her law education at University of Ottawa in 2012. Meena was very excited to learn that her med techno background could be of interest to the Guru of Law and Robotics himself-Prof. Ian Kerr. And to … Read more
Melissa recently finished her first year of law school. In a previous life, she studied health and psychology, with her favourite lessons coming from the field of ethics. Fuelled by her new academic interest, (and love of working in her PJ’s while eating KD from the pot), Melissa set out for law school. Since teaming up with Ian, she has been busy examining the legal and ethical implications of EULA’s attached to wearable and implantable medical devices. She is particularly concerned about the privacy and autonomy implications of these practices. Seriously, Repo Men much?? Beyond law school, Melissa is fond … Read more
Born in the cradle of civilization also known as modern day Baghdad, Reem had no interest in technology law before landing in Professor Kerr’s first year contracts class by chance. A trilingual, 2015 JD Candidate, her primary interest was immigration and refugee law until she learned that robotics, licensing, privacy and the Charter could all somehow be intricately intertwined in legal analysis. As a former federal political staffer of four years, Reem’s ambition was once to become the first Middle Eastern Prime Minister of Canada. This dream has been temporarily set aside for a break from the wrath of the … Read more
Stephanie is known around these here parts as Slow, partly because it is a combination of her first and last name that someone tried out way back when and it just stuck, and partly because she likes to take (lots of) moments to idle and be leisurely. In those moments, she enjoys things to repletion – things like her acoustic guitar (which she plays John Denver, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac on), really any kind of food (but especially breakfast and sushi), the elements beyond her front door (which she explores on her 1940s single-speed bicycle or on her two … Read more
Surinder Multani sees the law in everything: the earth and the wind, the harmonious spins of the cycle of life. Due to this special eyesight, she entered into the LLB program so she can explore how man-made laws interact with that of natures’. Her master’s thesis examined areas of Indigenous environmental knowledge, intellectual cultural property and legal pluralism. When she is not studying ratios and Supreme Court judgments, she meditates, writes poems, reads (often Canadian authors cause they are cool), and cooks unsatisfactory Indian food incomparable to her mamas. Surinder has entered the realm of Kerr-land and is excited and … Read more
Vanja was thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue her academic interest in social theory while completing her B.A in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Shortly after the end of that love affair, Vanja loaded up the truck and moved from Toronto to start law school at the University of Ottawa. The biggest challenge was leaving behind Brinkley, her golden retriever but she was happy to find that Ottawa is full of dogs, many of whom she has since befriended. When she is not chasing down dog owners, Vanja enjoys putting on her new hockey skates to use on … Read more
What do you get when you mix a robot with a philosopher? Mechanical dialogue. Zac has been a proud Kerrian since his first year in law school. Like many Kerrians, Zac has loved robots since he had the chance to work with them at Lakehead University’s then-new robotics laboratory in the summer of 2004. And no one would gainsay his love for philosophy. These two common interests, along with Ian’s Kerrisma, drew him to seek an RA position with the esteemed professor. It was one of Zac’s best decisions and Ian’s tutelage has played a formative and foundational role in … Read more
Adam arrived in Ottawa from Gander, Newfoundland in 1997. He completed an undergraduate degree in English at the University of Ottawa in 2008, and worked in the not-for-profit sector before returning to school in 2010. Adam came to law school with a passion for environmental issues, and fully expected to specialize in that field. Instead, he attended a lecture by Ian Kerr, and was immediately side tracked into law and technology. Adam will use what he learns in the field to fight the robot uprising.
Adrienne was once told she was the “quintessential middle child, with the added bonus of a ‘curly-hair personality.’” She took this as a compliment and strives to finds its meaning everyday. Her greatest inspiration is her grandmother, who lived restrained in a time when educational opportunities did not exist for women; because of this, Adrienne never takes for granted her participation in the academic world. Adrienne completed an undergraduate degree in media studies and a diploma in journalism. She enjoys lingering at the intersection between media and law. Pondering the impact that the internet and digital communication is having on … Read more
Alesia became interested in issues surrounding the development of new and emerging technologies when she first became familiar with the Human Genome Project in High School. Being a math and science geek at that time she was fascinated by the sequencing of the human DNA and the costs and benefits to society of having such technology available. Being a typical idealistic teen, she went on to complete her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies and her Master’s at the University of Toronto in an attempt to try and save the world. She spent quite some time … Read more
A transplant from Vancouver, British Columbia, Alex Cameron is a doctoral candidate in law and technology and a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa. His current research and writing covers a number of related topic areas, including privacy, international outsourcing, competition law, intellectual property, digital rights management (DRM) technology and Internet service providers. Alex has regularly published papers and delivered conference presentations in his areas of work and legal practice. Alex has also acted as counsel in a number of significant privacy and intellectual property cases, including as counsel before the Federal Court of Appeal in Canada’s music file-sharing … Read more
Alex can be best summed up by the following four books: The Basic Eight, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Girlfriend in a Coma, Franny and Zooey. Alex graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelors of Arts and Science – a degree that left her with no major but some knowledge of biology, philosophy and interdisciplinary studies. She is fascinated by the idea that advances in technology can result in the reconceptualization of ideas such as health and normalcy. Alex’s interests and guilty pleasures include watching 90’s legal television shows, lattes, reading young adult fiction, French fries dipped in … Read more
Asiya’s research for Ian’s Identity Trail project focuses mainly on the implications of technology and privacy on domestic abuse. She enjoys traveling, though avoids all-inclusives at any cost, meditating with camels at sunset and taking photos of random places and things. Though she is not particularly good at them, she enjoys playing a variety of sports. Her latest athletic endeavour includes attempting to twist herself into inhuman positions at yoga class (from which she has temporarily retired after a tragic ‘downward dog’ incident). RESEARCH Researched and reported on the implications of victim relocation for psychologically abused women (2006). Researched the … Read more
Byron is a transplant from beautiful Vancouver. When he is not complaining about the cold Ottawa winters, he is searching for updates on his favoured Vancouver Canucks and Liverpool FC. Prior to law, Byron started off with an engineering degree. His greatest job ever, was his position traveling the US playing with $100K robots and lasers – every 10-year old’s dream.
Cynthia recently completed her first year of law school – without any significant disasters (except for the tortuous evening before exams). She is currently working on some AMAZING and complex charts looking at reasonable expectation of privacy. In her spare time, she likes to listen to adult contemporary music (which she liked since the age of five), cooking freestyle foods, and pumping weights (please see additional info). She also enjoys making original drawings online (please see additional info). An avid rodent-lover, she cuddled rats throughout her Masters before and after her experiments and owned the absolute cutest hamsters (Pont (1998-2000) … Read more
Daniel Albahary is in the second year of the combined four year LL.B/ J.D programme at uOttawa. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with High Honours from Carleton University in 1997. Before coming to law school, he worked in both the Toronto entertainment and technology fields. His academic interests lie in copyright, intellectual property, and privacy law. He closely monitors his collection of motion picture cameras for something; for something, though he is not exactly sure what.
Felix just completed the first year of his LL.B at the University of Alberta. His interests in technology, law and politics caused him to leave the technical world of computer engineering for the technical world of law. His current research on lawful access and digital rights management is more satisfying than writing drivers for graphics chips in cellphones. Not to say that programming in low-level assembler and C isn’t fun stuff!
Golsa graduated from U of T with an Honours BA in Political Science. Her undergraduate experiences include playing the double bass on stage in Prague, hosting her own college radio show and organizing mass school snowboard trips. Having completed her first year of law, Golsa still has absolutely no idea what she wants to do as a lawyer. She hopes to somehow combine her passion for public speaking, human rights and technology into some form of legal mashup that will help her be an advocate for international social justice and spread the word by using cheap and accessible technological means. … Read more
Hannah is a third year law student and pop culture junkie. She’s concerned about social and political issues (especially feminism and privacy), law and technology, communications, and celebrity gossip. She came to law school because she figured it was the best way to do something about the things that tick her off. She finds tech law a particularly interesting area because we have no idea what tomorrow’s developments will bring — nor the legal and ethical issues they will invoke. In this field, it sometimes seems impossible to be regulatorily proactive (perhaps primarily because bureaucracy simply does not move as … Read more
Before she met Ian, Hilary was a gainfully employed civil servant: a program officer at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Then, one day, a proposal for a project called “On the Identity Trail” crossed her desk… Four years later, Hilary no longer has a job or a pension but she is loving law school and working with Ian. For Ian, Hilary does everything from editing to grant writing to footnote writing and, of course, research on topics from disability to sensor networks to constitutional protections of privacy. Her own research interests include ethical issues surrounding death (cadaveric organ … Read more
James Wishart is a lapsed PhD. student (History of Medicine) who entered law school after consultation with a long-ignored voice in his head. When he is not learning to love the law, he enjoys shopping for used cars (but not buying them), reducing the annual natural gas consumption in his home, and competitive ranting. Normally he does not talk about himself in the third person. He tries to limit his reading and film-watching to dystopias, apocalyptic jeremiads, Joseph Conrad, and J.R.R. Tolkien. The fact that humans are responsible for global warming and the potential extinction on all life on earth … Read more
Jena is an LL.B./M.A. student On the Identity Trail with Ian, where her research focuses on the intersection of privacy, equality and identity. Jena moonlights as a contemporary dancer, and has recently been spotted performing in Ottawa and Montreal. When not researching or dancing, Jena teaches yoga, rides her bike, knits very long scarves and strums the 12 chords she knows on her guitar. She also thinks about writing her M.A. thesis, examining the right to food as a human right in international law. Jena is a volunteer researcher for Friends of the Earth Canada, where she is looking at … Read more
Jeremy’s research focuses on the intersection between rhetoric, jargon, and marketability. He hopes that his multidisciplinary efforts will bring Prof. Kerr fame, fortune, and academic immortality. Similarly, he hopes that a positively-worded reference letter will allow him to one day gain meaningful employment. When not conducting research, Jeremy enjoys judging books by their covers, dwelling on environmental degredation, and preaching to the converted.
Since joining Ian’s On the ID Trail project, Katie has learned that posting biographical information online is a really bad idea; but really, what’s life without a little danger? Katie is mostly a wonderful bundle of joy. What puts a bee in her bonnet, however, is the idea that some crank may be listening in on her digital phone conversations without violating her reasonable expectation of privacy. Consequently, Katie happily joined the Kerr Nation and is currently focusing on how consent intersects with libertarian paternalism and soft surveillance. In addition to being a master chicken impersonator, Katie is also a … Read more
Katie wasn’t sure how to start her bio. She asked her roommate for some suggestions. Her roommate pointed out that meeting 300 odd new people at the beginning of law school had provided the perfect training for this moment. It had been the ideal exercise to define the things truly mattered to one’s identity, since those were the things that made it into the 30-second blurb when meeting someone new at the Chateau Laurier during orientation. Katie’s roommate then tried to sum Katie up with a few key elements: Being Hungarian, Parliament, Coffee, Bacon, Being Awesome, Existential Philosophy, Yoga, Aaron … Read more
Born, raised and cultivated in the city of Scarborough, Kinda has spent most of her time in Ottawa explaining to her fellow colleagues that “it really isn’t that ghetto of a place.” An avid roller-blader, Kinda enjoys the streets of O-Town for its paved sidewalks, brisk clean air, and seemingly friendly pedestrians. Her hobbies include obsessive email checking, reading-up on celebrity gossip, and watching musical films in fast forward to avoid, what she calls, “the annoying singing parts.” Her favourite fruit is watermelon.
Kristen recently completed her first year of law at the University of Ottawa. She previously dabbled in physical anthropology and international relations, where some exciting academic moments included sequencing her own DNA (to unexpected results), learning how to dig a hole the “academic” way (archaeologically speaking), and re-affirming her ability to consume a super-human amount of coffee in a very short period of time. Her overarching research interest lies in the nexus of law, culture and human anatomy, though she’s finding ways to sneak privacy into this mix. Kristen also enjoys the finer things in life, such as zombie movies, … Read more
The end quickly approaches for Laura’s law school career. Although a long-time Ottawan, she plans to become a West Coast girl at least until such time as she officially becomes a Lawyer. She practices Bikram yoga with aplomb but surprisingly little flexibility. She enjoys learning of any kind, and words-of-the-day (see ‘aplomb’). She is a committed Toronto Blue Jays fan, and is notorious for streaming games over the internet when they are not being televised. Yes, even spring training games. Laura has recently decided to take up the violin, and is routinely shamed by the much younger virtuosos in her … Read more
Max has recently completed first year common law at the University of Ottawa. He obtained his Honours B.A. from Queen’s University in Canadian History. Max brings diverse experience in politics and government to his research. He is currently focused on the scope and limitations of the reasonable expectations of privacy guaranteed by section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. RESEARCH When not conducting research of s.8 privacy rights Max chooses to fritter away his time on a variety of mindless pursuits. His current goals include achieving mastery of the Extreme Hunter Arcade Game and training his trusty sidekick, … Read more
Meg decamped from her home in the West to study for her MA…. She is happy to have eventually landed in the Law & Tech research community at the University of Ottawa, in spite of the fact that she desperately misses hiking in the Rockies. Since arriving in Ottawa, she has helped renovate her home by doing lots of destruction because she can’t actually build anything more complicated than IKEA furniture. She sometimes wonders what her cats are writing in their as-yet-unpublished blog and she’s obsessed with Veronica Mars, which she finds odd since it’s all about trampling on privacy … Read more
Michelle is a proud uOttawa graduate who recently sat down to calculate just how long she has spent at her alma mater. Admittedly, her math skills were a little rusty but shock set in when she realized that with the arrival of 2007 comes year #13. Ever the multi-tasker, she’s managing these days to navigate her way through first year common law while still trying to figure out how to put her biochemistry degree to good use. She figured that joining Ian’s research team was definitely a step in the right direction. Michelle’s research for the Identity Trail project focuses … Read more
Natalie is a research student with Ian’s Identity Trail project, working currently to understand what sort of privacy one can reasonably expect under a whole range of situational factors (note: it seems that one can not reasonably expect to maintain secret grow ops, be they in one’s home or in one’s backyard). To protect her own identity, Natalie can be found in a variety of guises. Competitive horseback rider Natalie can currently be found pausing to train her young “Beemer”. Social Justice Natalie is deeply concerned with injustice on an international scale, and is an executive member of a student … Read more
Ever since she read the course description for Professor Kerr’s ‘Law of Robotics’ class at the University of Ottawa, Özlem has been hooked on Law and Technology. This growing interest is expressed in the recent research opportunities “Özzy” has been involved in, including: researching the concept of privacy default rules for Professor Kerr, comparing anti-spam legislation from around the world for privacy lawyer Shaun Brown, and updating practitioner Kris Klein’s book titled The Law of Privacy in Canada. Alongside her passion for law, “Öz” also has a strong commitment to her Turkish-Canadian community and is a member of the Council … Read more
Rachel learned to read in part with the help of a BASIC program her dad wrote for her on an old TRS-80 from Radio Shack. She became interested at an early age in the way we relate to technology by watching him (an early adopter) struggle to make a believer out of her mom (decidedly not an early adopter). Hindsight has shown her that being born to these particular parents is the first in a series of coincidences that led her directly (well, sort of) to law school and Ian Kerr at the University of Ottawa. She is an unapologetic … Read more
Rafael plays a 2004 Gibson SG Standard, bodyboards in Puerto Rican waves, stubbornly destroys his knees jogging every other day, ponders patently useless questions with benign zeal and struggles daily with being good, right and just. When not occupied in these most urgent matters, Rafael has used his free time to study social theory, Law and be admitted to the Puerto Rico Bar. He has also used a bit of this free time to teach an assortment of social science courses in the University of Puerto Rico, although he feels self conscious about being “too lawyerly” for his social theorist … Read more
Sinzi wants to fly. She is currently building her wings at the University of Ottawa in the Common Law program while doing research under Ian’s guidance. Sinzi completed an undergraduate degree in Criminology in “oh-so-perfect” Vancouver where she worked for several years for a UN affiliated organization. Her work was recognized in an international manual, UN publications and Canadian Government reports. Sinzi was hoping to pursue international law but is now finding herself completely captivated by the fascinating and mysterious world of technology law. After meeting Ian in the first week of law school, Sinzi began researching the effects of … Read more