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WEBINAR: COVID-19 Contact Tracing and the Canadian Constitution

July 29, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights & the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society were pleased to co-present 

COVID-19 Contact Tracing and the Canadian Constitution 

 a FREE WEBINAR on Wednesday July 29, 2020 @12:00-1:30pm

Contact tracing apps play an important role alongside human tracing in our public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to ensure that contact tracing apps infringe our Constitutional rights as little as possible, however, the apps must be carefully constructed and the information they collect must be safeguarded.  In a highly collaborative research paper entitled “Test, Trace, and Isolate: COVID-19 and the Canadian Constitution,” a team of experts from the University of Toronto, York University and the Ontario Tech University reviewed the benefits and limitations of using contact tracing apps to identify people who have been exposed to COVID-19.  

In this webinar, the paper’s authors Lisa Austin (pictured), Vincent Chiao, David Lie (pictured), and  Andrea Slane took part in a group discussion, led by Asper Centre Executive Director Cheryl Milne, about their research and conclusions including: the usefulness of contact tracing apps, the privacy choices involved in the technical design of these apps, which app the government has selected to use and why, as well as the privacy impacts considered under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides a framework for balancing competing rights and interests. 

The panelists will be available for questions at the end of their discussion. An electronic copy of the paper is available here.  Email for inquiries.


Authors’ BIOS 

Lisa Austin BA &Sc (McMaster) 1994, MA (Toronto) 1995, LLM (Toronto) (1998), PhD (Toronto) 2005, called to the Bar of Ontario in 2006, is a Professor of Law and the Chair in Law and Technology at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.  She is a co-founder of the IT3 Law at the University of Toronto, which engages in interdisciplinary research on privacy and transparency. Professor Austin’s research and teaching interests include privacy law, property law, and legal theory. She is published in such journals as Legal TheoryLaw and PhilosophyTheoretical Inquiries in LawCanadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, and Canadian Journal of Law and Society.  Professor Austin’s privacy work has been cited numerous times by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Vincent Chiao, B.A. (University of Virginia), Ph.D. (Northwestern), J.D. (Harvard), is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto. He researches and teaches primarily in the area of criminal law and criminal justice, with a particular interest in the philosophical examination of its doctrine and institutions. He is the author of Criminal Law in the Age of the Administrative State (Oxford University Press 2018). He is also responsible for overseeing the Faculty of Law’s appellate criminal law externship, which provides selected third year JD students with the opportunity to work directly on criminal appeals, including before the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Dr. Beth Coleman is Associate Professor of Data & Cities at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, where she directs the City as Platform lab. Working in the disciplines of Science and Technology Studies and Critical Race Theory, her research focuses on smart technology & machine learning, urban data, and civic engagement. She is the author of Hello Avatar and multiple articles addressing issues of smart cities, urban data, augmentation & experience design, and critical race, among others. She has presented at leading international conferences and municipal contexts such as CHI; Sharing Cities, Barcelona; Gender and Cities, Geneva; Mars/Waterfront Toronto. Her research affiliations include the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University; Microsoft Research; Data & Society Institute, New York; and expert consultant for the European Commission Digital Futures. She is one of the foundational directors of Thriving Cities, Mistletoe Singapore. Her previous academic positions include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Waterloo. 

David Lie received his BASc from the University of Toronto in 1998, and his MS and PhD from Stanford University in 2001 and 2004 respectively. He is currently Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto.  He also holds appointments in the Department of Computer Science, the Faculty of Law and is a research lead with the Schwartz Riesman Institute for Technology and Society.  He is known for his seminal work on the XOM architecture, which was an early precursor to modern trusted execution processor architectures such as ARM Trustzone and Intel SGX.  He was the recipient of a best paper award at SOSP for this work. David is also a recipient of the MRI Early Researcher Award, Connaught Global Challenge Award.  He developed the PScout Android Permission mapping tool, whose datasets have been downloaded over 10,000 times and used in dozens of subsequent papers.  David has served on various program committees including OSDI, Usenix Security, IEEE Security & Privacy, NDSS and CCS.  Currently, his interests are focused on securing mobile platforms, cloud computing security and bridging the divide between technology and policy. 

Martha Shaffer is a Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, which she joined in 1990. She holds law degrees from Harvard and Toronto, as well as an undergraduate degree from Harvard. She served as Law Clerk to the Supreme Court of Canada for Chief Justice Brian Dickson, before becoming the Boulton Junior Fellow at the Faculty of Law, McGill University. Professor Shaffer’s principal research and teaching interests concentrate on criminal law, family law and equality issues.   

Dr. Andrea Slane joined Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Social Science and Humanities in 2009 as an Associate Professor in the Legal Studies program. She is also the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs, Legal Studies. Her research focuses on privacy, data protection, and the variety of legal regimes that protect people from both individual and commercial wrongdoing online and over digital devices. She has a substantial body of work on the appropriate means to regulate the flow of personal information, whether between individuals; individuals and businesses; businesses and government; business to business; or to the public. She has also conducted sociological research on the views of professionals who work with victims of online child sexual exploitation, and is currently engaged in a new project examining senior citizens’ views toward new social support technologies such as digital assistants and social robots, and the kinds of protections they feel they need. 

François Tanguay-Renaud is a Professor of Law and the Director of York University’s Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security since 2012. He is also one of the founders and first Director of York’ University’s Juris Doctor/Master of Arts (JD/MA) combined program in law and philosophy, the founder and main administrator of the Ontario Legal Philosophy Partnership (OLPP) and a former Associate Dean Research, Graduate Studies, and Institutional Relations. Professor Tanguay-Renaud holds degrees in both civil and common law from McGill University, where he was both a Loran Scholar and a Greville-Smith Scholar. He also studied at the National University of Singapore, and completed his graduate work (BCL, MPhil, DPhil) at the University of Oxford. Professor Tanguay-Renaud ‘s current academic interests span a wide range of subject areas — but notably, criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, emergency law, and public international law — viewed mostly through the lens of analytical legal theory. 


July 29, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm