Dr. Ian Kerr holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. He also holds cross-appointments to the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Philosophy.
Special thanks and much gratitude are owed to one of my favorite artists, Eric Joyner, for his permission to display a number of inspirational and thought–provoking works in the banner.
'Privacy, Identity and Anonymity' in International Handbook of Surveillance Studies, eds. Kristie Ball, Kevin Haggerty and David Lyon (London: Routledge) forthcoming 2011 [co-authored in equal proportion with Jennifer Barrigar].
'This chapter was written in collaboration with one of my favourite readers and writers, Jennifer Barrigar. Together, we consider the complex interrelationship between privacy, identity and anonymity in an increasingly networked society through an exploration of the evolution of network technologies and its consequent shifts in social and technological architectures. The rise of ubiquitous computing from CCTV cameras and handheld devices to digital rights management systems (DRM) and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags has precipitated a shift in the network architecture from one in which anonymity was the default to one in which nearly every online transaction is subject to monitoring and the possibility of identity authentication. We argue that this invariably affects the relationship between privacy, identity and anonymity.Read more →
"What keeps the world together? It's rules… people abiding by the terms" –'Repo Man'
This past May, I had the great privilege of being invited to lecture at NYU's Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture, and Communication as a LeBoff Distinguished Visiting Scholar. While there, I taught an interdisciplinary seminar called 'Building Better Humans' which focused on the legal and ethical implications of new and emerging technologies in the context of what I call the 'human-machine merger'. This presentation addresses some of the core concepts discussed during our time together.Read more →
'Prediction, Presumption, Preemption: The Path of Law After the Computational Turn', forthcoming in Privacy, Due Process and the Computational Turn: The Philosophy of Law Meets the Philosophy of Technology, eds. Mireille Hildebrandt & Ekaterina De Vries.
This chapter examines the path of law after the computational turn. In framing my argument, I use Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.'s famous "bad man" theory as a heuristic device for evaluating predictive technologies currently embraced by public and private sector entities worldwide. Perhaps America's most famous jurist, Holmes was so fascinated by the power of predictions and the predictive stance that he made prediction the centerpiece of his own prophecies regarding the future of legal education. Holmes believed that predictions should be understood with reference to the standpoint of everyday people, made from their point of view and operationalized with their sense of purpose in mind.Read more →
Our fascination with machines runs deep. We like to think we are superior. But our smugness can be easily knocked down a peg by the likes of Watson, the IBM Supercomputer on Jeopardy. When Watson beat its human competitors, IBM was quick to point out that this is a victory for humankind. But some are left feeling a little leery.