Technology, Thoughts, and Trinkets began as an experimentation; what was it like, as a scholar and civil rights advocate, to make draft thoughts, positions, and ideas public? Since its inception, the site has developed from philosophical musings to directly engaging with critical technical, privacy, and security issues, as well as occasionally reviewing interesting or important books and texts. My experiment has, thus far, turned out incredibly well: I’ve gained considerably more insight into the issues I study than had I kept my thoughts constrained to just the academy. Ultimately the site’s mission continues apace: to maintain a public digital image, while simultaneously creating a hub for my ongoing public projects.
Any ideas or thoughts that I write here should be attributed to me (save for comments made by other participants in this space), and do not necessarily represent the groups I work with or organizations that employ me. No one has compelled me to write any of the text that appears on this site. No sponsors have paid me to write about any of their products.
Dr. Christopher Parsons’ research, teaching, and consulting interests involve how privacy is affected by digitally mediated surveillance, and the normative implications that such surveillance has in (and on) contemporary Western political systems. He is a Senior Research Associate at the Munk School’s Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, where his research focuses on third-party access to telecommunications data, data privacy, data security, and national security. Christopher holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he completed a dissertation that examined the political drivers of Internet service providers’ network surveillance practices. He is also a Privacy by Design Ambassador and former Principal at Block G Privacy and Security Consulting.
Christopher has written policy reports for civil advocacy organizations in Canada, submitted evidence to Parliamentary committees, and been an active member of the Canadian privacy and national security communities. He has been involved in and led projects examining lawful access legislation, national security and intelligence legislation and practices, government management of computer security vulnerabilities, identity management systems, automatic license plate recognition technologies, network management and surveillance practices in Western democratic states, technical and policy issues linked to encryption, privacy issues linked to social media services, policy and privacy challenges associated with IMSI Catchers, the privacy implications of unmanned aerial vehicles, threats associated with stalkerware, and geo-strategic policies that are needed to manage critical infrastructure.
Christopher has published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, European Journal of Law and Technology, Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, Business & Society, Canadian Privacy Law Review, and CTheory, amongst others. He has published book chapters in a series of academic and popular presses, and also written numerous reports with the Citizen Lab. His research has been funded by SSHRC, the New Transparency Project, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s contributions programs, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, and by civil advocacy organizations. He regularly presents his research to government, media, the public, and at academic events.
I’m always interested in new challenges and potential consultancy opportunities; feel free to look at LinkedIn profile as well as my academic CV, and contact me if you think I can contribute to your projects as a consultant or an adviser.