Valerie Steeves

Valerie Steeves is a Full Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada. Her main area of research is human rights and technology issues. She co-leads (with Jane Bailey) The eQuality Project, a 7-year partnership initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, focused on the ways in which big data practices contribute to a discriminatory environment that sets young people up for conflict and harassment. In addition, she is a co-investigator in two other SSHRC funded partnerships: one looking at Big Data Surveillance, and the other focused on addressing Rape Culture on University Campuses. Steeves is also the lead researcher on MediaSmart’s Young Canadians in a Wired World Research Project, which has been tracking young people’s experiences with networked technologies since 2000. She has written and spoken extensively on privacy from a human rights perspective, and is an active participant in the privacy policy making process in Canada.

Jane Bailey

Jane Bailey is a Full Professor in the Common Law Section (English), who teaches cyberfeminism, technoprudence, contracts and civil procedure. She and Valerie Steeves co-lead The eQuality Project, a 7-year SSHRC funded partnership initiative focused on the ways in which big data practices contribute to a discriminatory environment that sets young people up for conflict and harassment. She is also a co-investigator on another 7-year SSHRC funded partnership focused on addressing Rape Culture on University Campuses.  Her current research focuses on tech-facilitated violence, including legal and educational responses. Prior to becoming a professor at uOttawa, Bailey was a civil litigator for Torys LLP, where she acted as co-counsel on the first internet hate speech case to go before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Jacquelyn Burkell

Jacquelyn Burkell is the an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and Associate Vice-President (Research) at the University of Western Ontario. Her research focuses on the empirical study of the interaction between people and technology, with a particular emphasis on the role of cognition in such interactions. Specific aspects of this research include the impact of presentation on information use and understanding, the design of human-computer interfaces, and the social impact of technology. With respect to this latter topic, she is interested in the impact of computer mediation on communication and the perception of self. Much of this work focuses on anonymity in online communication, examining how the psuedonymity offered by online communication is experienced by online communicators, and how this experience changes communication behaviour and interpretation.

Priscilla Regan

Priscilla Regan is a Professor in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University. Prior to joining that faculty in 1989, she was a Senior Analyst in the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (1984-1989) and an Assistant Professor of Politics and Government at the University of Puget Sound (1979-1984). From 2005 to 2007, she served as a Program Officer for the Science, Technology and Society Program at the National Science Foundation. Since the mid-1970s, her primary research interests have focused on both the analysis of the social, policy, and legal implications of organizational use of new information and communications technologies, and also on the emergence and implementation of electronic government initiatives by federal agencies. She has published over forty articles or book chapters, as well as Legislating Privacy: Technology, Social Values, and Public Policy (University of North Carolina Press, 1995). As a recognized researcher in this area, Regan has testified before Congress and participated in meetings held by the Department of Commerce, Federal Trade Commission, Social Security Administration, and Census Bureau. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation. She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Committee on Authentication Technologies and their Privacy Implications. She received her PhD in Government from Cornell University and her BA from Mount Holyoke College

Rakhi Ruparelia

Prior to pursuing her LL.M. degree at Harvard University, Rakhi Ruparelia taught torts at the University of Ottawa and then clerked at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. After completing her graduate studies, she joined the Prison Reform Advocacy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio where she established and directed a community legal clinic to assist ex-prisoners with legal issues impeding their transition back to society. Her current research interests include torts, criminal law, critical race theory, and feminist legal theory.  Her recent publications have considered the impact of criminal law on racialized communities, as well as the capacity of tort law to redress racial discrimination. She is the co-editor of “Critical Torts”, a collection of essays that explores the potential and limitations of tort law as a progressive tool for social change.

In addition to her teaching and research, Ruparelia has conducted judicial training sessions on issues surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence. In addition, she has worked with the National Judicial Institute to plan and deliver anti-racism training to judges, and has also has participated as a member of the Canadian Bar Association Standing Committee on Equity and the National Steering Committee of the National Association of Women and the Law (N.A.W.L.).

Leslie Regan Shade

Leslie Regan Shade is a Professor at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Her research focus since the mid-1990’s has been on the social and policy aspects of information and communication technologies (ICTs), with particular concerns towards issues of gender, youth and political economy. Her research promotes the notion of the public interest in ICT policy; publications, community outreach and student supervision have as their goal the promotion of a wider popular discourse on information and communication policy issues and media reform in Canada and internationally for a diverse public and policy audience. This includes an ongoing commitment to building participatory scholar-activist networks.

Carlisle Adams

Prior to his appointment at the University of Ottawa, Carlisle Adams worked for 13 years in cryptography and security engineering in the high-tech industry in Ottawa, Canada. He was Senior Cryptographer at Nortel Secure Networks, the business unit within Nortel that spun out to form Entrust, Inc. At Entrust, he later held the positions of Senior Cryptographer, Senior Manager – Standards Program, and Principal Architect – Advanced Security.

Anne Cheung

Anne S.Y. Cheung received her legal education at The University of Hong Kong (LL.B), The University of Toronto (J.D.), University of London (LL.M) and Stanford University (JSD). She teaches Law and Society and Media Law. Her research interests are in freedom of expression, privacy, children’s rights (including cyberbullying and domestic violence), and law and society studies. In 2008, she received the Outstanding Young Researcher Award by the University of Hong Kong. She is a committee member of the Hong Kong Press Council and she is one of the principal investigators of the CLIC Project (Community Legal Information Centre, and Youth Clic ( She and her team are currently building a website for seniors in Hong Kong. She worked on the Open Net Initiative (Asia) Project to study online freedom of speech in the form of blogging in China. Currently, she is working with Privacy International (UK) to study privacy protection in Hong Kong and China, and working with Media Alternative (the Philippines) to study eGovernance in Hong Kong and Asia.

Liisa A. Mäkinen

Dr. Liisa A. Mäkinen is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Geography department in the University of Turku in Finland. Her background is in social sciences, and she has a PhD from Social and public policy from the University of Helsinki. Mäkinen is currently working in a research project entitled “Living within, navigating and appropriating everyday surveillance: Case studies on subjective experiences of surveillance and privacy”, led by Professor Hille Koskela. The project examines subjective experiences of being under surveillance, with a special focus on analyzing surveillance-critical art and examining perceptions of surveillance and privacy among young people. Mäkinen works in co-operation with the eQuality research team in gathering data on young peoples’ privacy attitudes in Finland.

Faye Mishna

Faye Mishna is Dean and Professor, at the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and is cross-appointed to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She holds the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child and Family. Prior to joining the Faculty, she was Clinical Director of Integra, a children’s mental health centre serving children and youth with learning disabilities. She is also a Fellow of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities. Her research is focused on: bullying; cyber abuse/cyber bullying and cyber counselling; and, school-based interventions for students with learning disabilities. An integral component of her research entails collaboration with community agencies and organizations. Her scholarly publications have focused on bullying, social work education and clinical practice. She is a graduate and faculty member of the Toronto Child Psychoanalytic Program, and maintains a small private practice in psychotherapy and consultation. She teaches Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families, and Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents; as well as Advanced Clinical Concepts: Theory, Research and Practice in the Ph.D. program

Kathryn Montgomery

Kathryn Montgomery is a full-time professor and Director of the Communication Studies Division. She is also founding Director of AU’s 3-year PhD program in Communication. She has written and published extensively about the role of media in society, addressing a variety of topics, including: the politics of entertainment television; youth engagement with digital media; and contemporary advertising and marketing practices. In addition to numerous journal articles, chapters, and reports, she is author of two books: Target: Prime Time – Advocacy Groups and the Struggle over Entertainment Television (Oxford University Press, 1989); and Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet (MIT Press, 2007). Before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1990, she taught television and media at the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Los Angeles. Throughout her career, Montgomery’s research, writing, and testimony have helped frame the national public policy debate on a range of critical media issues. From 1991-2003, she was co-founder and President of the nonprofit Center for Media Education, where she spearheaded a national campaign that led to passage of the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the first federal legislation to protect children’s privacy on the Internet. She received her PhD in 1979 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Shaheen Shariff

Shaheen Shariff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies at McGill University. Her research and teaching are grounded in the study of law as it impacts educational policy and practice. In particular, she is interested in studying legal issues that emerge in relation to on-line social communications such as cyber-hate, cyber-bullying, sexting, free expression, privacy harm, libel and criminal harassment. Her work addresses the emerging policy vacuum on legal and ethical limits of on-line expression, such as the line between joking and cyber-threats; fair use; privacy rights and privacy harm, cyber-safety, cyber-libel; and school supervision. She is also studying girls’ use of on-line social media and its role in identity development for teens and pre-teens. She was invited to participate on a United Nations panel on cyber-hate chaired by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and appeared as a panelist with the First Amendment Center’s online symposium. She has received research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for Canada and is currently developing an interactive resource website to bring stakeholders together in dialogue towards the development of informed policies and educational practice.

Karen Smith

Karen Smith’s research explores the connections between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and society. The tensions between openness, privacy and participation in a technologically mediated culture are central to her work. Her dissertation examined processes for citizen participation in policy-making via the social web in Ontario. In August 2013, she commenced a Mitacs Elevate Post-doctoral Fellowship (PDF) with Mozilla and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. At Mozilla she worked to build and study Hive Toronto, a digital literacy network of over 60 youth serving organizations. She also contributed to user experience research for open source educational software projects. In 2014-2015 Smith was the Principal Investigator on a contributions program grant from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to co-design open badges for privacy education with Hive Toronto.

Our Post-Doctoral Researchers

Hayley Crooks

Dr. Hayley R. Crooks employs arts-based research methodologies with young people in order to examine how young people perceive, make sense of and describe their experiences of social media including tech-facilitated violence and gender-based forms of violence in online spaces. In her doctoral dissertation “Reel Girls: Approaching Gendered Cyberviolence with Young People Through the Lens of Participatory Video” she used collaborative video making -alongside other qualitative research methods – to examine how 112 young women negotiate and conceptualize tech-facilitated violence on social networking sites. She has a background in media production, videography, and feminist (new) media theory and is a post-doctoral researcher with the eQuality Project. Dr. Crooks is collaborating with the research team in order to better understand, through an intersectional lens, how diverse communities of young people experience privacy and equality in their online lives.

sava saheli singh

As a postdoctoral fellow with the eQuality Project, sava saheli singh is working on the #DisconnectChallenge Alberta project to help explore young people’s relationships with technology. Previously, as a postdoc at the Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) at Queen’s University, she conceptualized, co-created, and co-produced Screening Surveillance—a knowledge translation program for the Big Data Surveillance project. Screening Surveillance is three short near-future fiction films that call attention to the potential human consequences of big data surveillance. Specifically, this project extends existing research from the SSC to examine the intersections and implications of big data systems, risk, and surveillance. Previously, sava completed her PhD on Academic Twitter from New York University’s Educational Communication and Technology program. Her research interests include educational surveillance; digital labour and surveillance capitalism; and critically examining the effects of technology and techno-utopianism on society.

Ciara Bracken-Roche (2018 – 2020)

Dr. Ciara Bracken-Roche is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow and has been working with Dr. Valerie Steeves since January 2018. Her project is entitled: “Drones and big data: Governance techniques and their implications for policing in contemporary Canadian society”.  This project explores the adoption and use of drone technologies in Canada with a specific focus on policing and urban spaces. It also explores how these technologies fit within emerging governance techniques designed to use big data to enhance control. The project will create new knowledge about the relationship between police use of these technologies/techniques of governance and existing legal, social and technological norms in Canadian society.

Wahida Chowdhury (2017 – 2019)

Dr. Wahida Chowdhury is a cognitive scientist with a background in cognitive science and psychology. For her postdoctorate research, she has been working with Dr. Valerie Steeves on “Canadian Kids Online: Using Surveys to Map Children’s Experiences on the Internet”. The project contributes to a global comparative analysis of children’s’ online experiences and is part of a collaborative project developed by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the EU Kids Online Network: The Global Kids Online Project (GKO).