The Canadian Access to Social Media Information (CATSMI) Project operated out of the University of Victoria during the years of 2012-2013. It was a distinctly Canadian research project, but we believed that our findings had a very wide relevance. The central hypothesis of the project was that the evolution of a more “social web” poses significant challenges to theories of informational privacy as well as to the national legal systems and regulatory policies that have been based on these theories.

The main objective of the Project was to determine how the expectations of social networking websites and environments, whose raison d’etre is the facilitation of the sharing of personal information about and by users, could be reconciled with prevailing understandings about “reasonable expectations of privacy” and the existing regimes that are designed to protect personal data. Organizations have to make decisions about the granularity and range of privacy choices to offer users. Were there significant variances between organizations’ perspectives and policies on access to personal information by data subjects on the one hand, and those of government authorities on the other? Were data subjects meaningfully made aware of their own rights to access data, and the capabilities of authorities to access the same subjects’ data?

This page hosts public resources associated with the CATSMI Project, including a range of documents we used to summarize key research practices and findings, as well as some of the law enforcement guidebooks that were used for the project. It also includes links to publications that emerged through the project.

Summary Documents

Law Enforcement Guidebooks

Web-Accessible Publications