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Civil Society Privacy Workshop

* NEW: Declaration Of Civil Society Organizations On the Role of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners *

Civil Society Privacy Workshop:

Privacy Rights in a World Under Surveillance

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Le Centre Sheraton Montréal Hotel
Drummond Salon, 3rd floor
Montréal, Québec

Organized by
the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

In collaboration with
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Privacy International

And sponsored by
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

This event will be held in conjunction with the 29th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

Privacy Commissioners Conference

and will be preceeded by

Conférence des commissaires à la protection des données de la Francophonie

Program | Speakers | Location | Registration | Organizations | Contact


    This one-day workshop aims to increase awareness, develop a broader understanding and a common analysis of privacy-related issues among individuals, civil society organizations, the media, and Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, all the while strengthening the capacity for action. Some of the issues to be addressed will include: the efficacy of various regimes of privacy and data protection, the surveillance of movement through monitoring and profiling of travelers and implementation of new generation of entry-exit schemes, the surveillance of telecommunications and financial transactions, the implication of large scale IT systems across public sector including health databases, and sharing of information and the principle of interoperability.


Please note interpretation services (English-French) will be available

The workshop begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 5:15 p.m.

  • Welcome and Introductions

    Jennifer Stoddart (Privacy Commissioner of Canada)
    Martine Éloy (Ligue des droits et libertés, Québec)
  • Introductory session: A New Paradigm in Privacy Law for the 21st century?

    This session will examine the current overall situation with regards to privacy: how technologies and institutions are evolving, where they are heading, and the kinds of strategic questions these changes raise for the privacy movement. The explosion of new technologies that enable the tracking and monitoring of individuals, from RFIDs to search engine logs to many others – has moved faster than any legal systems can adapt, and raises questions about whether existing legal privacy regimes are outmoded. Do we need to develop new mechanisms of privacy protection at the multilateral level? What role for constitutional protection? Are national privacy commissioners still relevant? How should their role be changed or altered, if at all, in response to the evolving realities of privacy?

    Simon Davies (Privacy International), Barry Steinhardt (ACLU)
    Respondent: Alexander Dix (Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information)
    Moderator: Philippa Lawson (CIPPIC)

  • Presentation of EPIC’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Privacy

    Allison Knight (EPIC - Electronic Privacy Information Center)

  • Session 2: Protecting Privacy in the Global Panopticon: How?

    The panel will focus on protecting privacy with regards to the surveillance of movement and profiling of passengers through “PNR” and “entry-exit” schemes, the mandatory retention and unregulated access to telecommunications records, the lawful and unlawful surveillance of the global financial system, and the wholesale corporate provision of data and technology to governments.

    Ben Hayes (Statewatch), Maureen Webb (ICLMG - International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group), Jonathan Bamford (Assistant Commissioner and Director of Data Protection Development, Office of the Information Commissioner, UK)
    Moderator: Allison Knight (EPIC - Electronic Privacy Information Center)

  • Session 3: The Pervasiveness and Impacts of New Technologies and Large IT Systems

    This panel will focus on the growing use of new technologies such as RFIDs, the implication of large scale IT systems across the public and private sectors, including health databases, data mining and data aggregation. The growth and implementation of large databases by both governments and business, and the development and diffusion of new technologies pose serious challenges to individual privacy. Examples of databases are health, welfare, taxation, credit card, and energy. Some technologies of concern are online tracking software, global networks, and RFID. The growth and linkage of massive databases create opportunities for government surveillance on a global scale.

    Jay Stanley (ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union), Richard Rosenberg (BCCLA - British Columbia Civil Liberties Association) and Dr. Helen Wallace (Genewatch, UK)
    Moderator: Gus Hosein (Privacy International)

  • Final Session: What future for privacy protection? What role for civil society? For Data and Privacy Protection Commissioners? For governments?

    This will be an interactive panel with input from presenters and participants. Drawing from the conclusions of the earlier sessions, efforts will be made to identify solutions, draft recommendations and map-out a concrete plan of action to reinforce privacy protection mechanisms.

    Katitza Rodríguez Pereda (EPIC – Electronic Privacy Information Center, Peru), Toshimaru Ogura (University of Toyama and People's Plan Study Group (PPSG) - Japan), Katherine Albrecht (CASPIAN - Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering)
    Respondent: Colin Bennett (University of Victoria)
    Moderator: Simon Davies (Privacy International)

  • Concluding Remarks



    Katherine Albrecht is widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on consumer privacy, retail issues, and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) or Radio Identification Technology. She holds a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University and is the director of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) a 15,000 member consumer privacy organization in the U.S. she founded in 1999. Katherine hosts a daily radio program called Uncovering the Truth, and co-authored the award-winning book Spychips, the definitive critique of RFID. Spychips flew to the top-ten Amazon non-fiction bestseller list and was named “the best book on liberty” in 2006.

    Since 2003, Katherine has led the fight against unethical RFID use in products and in people. She regularly testifies before lawmakers around the globe and has given more than a 1,000 television, radio and print interviews to news outlets like CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, Business Week and the London Times. Executive Technology magazine calls Katherine “perhaps the country's single most vocal privacy advocate” and Wired magazine calls her the “Erin Brockovich” of RFID.


    Jonathan Bamford joined the staff of the Data Protection Registrar when the office was first established in early 1985. He has remained through the transition leading to the creation of the Information Commissioner’s Office with the introduction of the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Information Commissioner enforces this legislation in the UK. Jonathan is Assistant Commissioner with the role of Director of Data Protection Development.

    His main duties focus on data protection policy development and promotion. He leads the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) work on “surveillance society” issues and on developments such as e-Borders, electronic health records, ID cards and video surveillance. He is involved in the ICO’s international data protection duties and is a member of the joint supervisory authorities for Europol and the Customs Information System. He also represents the UK at the meetings of the Schengen Information System Joint Supervisory Authority.


    Colin Bennett received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Wales, and his Ph.D from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Since 1986 he has taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he is now Professor.  From 1999-2000, he was a fellow with the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In 2007 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at University of California, Berkeley. 

    His research interests have focused on the comparative analysis of information privacy protection policies at the domestic and international levels. He has published Regulating Privacy: Data Protection and Public Policy in Europe and the United States (Cornell University Press, 1992). He is also co-editor or Visions of Privacy: Policy Choices for the Digital Age (University of Toronto Press, 1999), and co-author of The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective (Ashgate Press, 2003; MIT Press, 2006).  He has published articles in: Public Administration, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Policy Options, The Journal of Public Policy, Governance, Science, Technology and Human Values, Canadian Public Administration, the Information Society and the European Journal of Political Research, as well as in specialized journals such as Privacy Laws and Business.

    He has given addresses and papers on these subjects in Canada, the United States, Europe, China, Australia and New Zealand. He has completed policy reports for the Canadian Standards Association, the Standards Council of Canada, Industry Canada, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and for the European Commission.  He is currently involved in a comparative project on the subject of “Privacy Advocacy” in advanced industrial states. 


    Simon Davies is a well-known privacy expert and a pioneer of the international privacy arena. His work in the fields of privacy, data protection, consumer rights and technology policy has spanned more than twenty years. Simon is the founder and director of the watchdog group Privacy International, and is also an academic, consultant, journalist, and author. He is a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he co-directs the Policy Engagement Network.


    Alexander Dix is Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information. Before being elected by the Berlin State Parliament in 2005 he served for seven years in the equivalent office in the neighbouring State of Brandenburg. He is an expert in telecommunications privacy, transborder data flows and freedom of information. He chairs the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications and was one of the co-founders of the European Academy for Freedom of Information and Data Protection in Berlin in 2002. Alexander Dix studied at Bochum and Hamburg universities and at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


    Martine Éloy is a union representative and translator. A long-time activist, she has works for women’s rights, the rights of workers and is involved in the anti-war movement. Since 2001, she has taken up the fight against the erosion of civil liberties and protection of human rights with the Ligue des droits et libertés (Québec) where she is a member of the Board of directors and oversees the Civil Liberties Committee. Martine also sits on the Steering committee of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), as a representative of the Ligue.


    Ben Hayes, from the UK, has been a researcher with the civil liberties group Statewatch since 1996, specialising in the development and implementation of EU Justice and Home Affairs policy. He has published widely on civil liberties issues in Europe and the “war on terrorism,” and is the author of Arming Big Brother (2006) on the EU’s Security Research Program. He works with of range of NGOs and community groups, and is joint co-ordinator of the European Civil Liberties Network, launched in October 2005. Ben submitted his PhD thesis in June 2007 at the University of Ulster and his book Authoritarian State: What Happened To Our Dream of European Union? will be published later in the year by the Transnational Institute, where he also works as a researcher on the “militarism and globalization” program.


    Gus Hosein is a Senior Fellow with Privacy International, where he leads work on anti-terror policies and international policy dynamics. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he co-directs the Policy Engagement Network. Finally, he is a Visiting Scholar at the American Civil Liberties Union, working on the Technology and Liberty Project. For more information please see


    Allison Knight is EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) Staff Counsel and Director of the Privacy and Human Rights Project. Her work focuses on international privacy law. She has testified before both the US House and Senate on privacy issues. She articled with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, where she completed rotations in litigation, policy, tribunal adjudication, and health privacy law. She has written articles on civil liberties and human rights, a manual on Canadian open government laws, and is Research Director for EPIC’s annual Privacy and Human RightsReport. She holds degrees in Music and in Law from the University of Western Ontario.


    Philippa Lawson is Executive Director and General Counsel of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.  From 1991 to 2003, she practiced administrative law and consumer advocacy with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa, Canada. During this period she represented consumer and public interest clients in all of Canada’s major telecommunications regulatory proceedings; she has also appeared at all levels of the federal court system, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a nationally recognized privacy advocate, and has worked with Canadian and international consumer organizations since the early 1990s on many privacy-related issues, including the regulation of Caller ID and telemarketing, the development and implementation of private sector data protection legislation, and online privacy generally. 

    Philippa is a member of the CSA Committee on the Model Privacy Code and Privacy International's Advisory Board. She is also a co-investigator/collaborator on the SSHRC-funded “On The Identity Trail” project (, and is the lead investigator of the “Legal and Policy Approaches to Identity Theft” research project funded by the Ontario Research Network on Electronic Commerce (ORNEC).

    As Director of Canada’s only technology law clinic, Philippa’s work focuses on training students in effective advocacy, producing relevant online resources, and ensuring that the public interest is robustly represented in government policy development and law-making processes on issues involving new technologies.


    Toshimaru Ogura is a professor at the University of Toyama (Political Economy) in Japan. He works as an activist in ICT, privacy, civil liberty and human rights issues regarding the “war on terror” and globalization of surveillance society. He is a co-president of People’s Plan Study Group (PPSG) and steering committee member of People’s Network against the Organized Crime Law and Wiretapping Law in Japan. He has written many articles and edited books regarding civil liberty, surveillance society and contemporary socio-political issues. His most recent article in English is “Electronic Government and Surveillance Oriented Society,” in David Lyon ed., Theorizing Surveillance, Willan Publishing, 2006. His recent books in Japanese are: Totalitarian Diversity and Barbarism of Democracy (2006), Danger of the Conspiracy Bill (2005), Global Surveillance and Police State (2005).


    Katitza Rodríguez is international policy fellow of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) based in Lima, Perú. She concentrates on comparative policies and legal aspects of privacy, data protection and digital copyright issues in Latin America. She is associate editor of Privacy and Human Rights Report (PHR) 2005, EPIC’s international survey of privacy laws and developments in the world. Currently, she is working on the 2006 edition of “PHR”. She is responsible for liaising with data protection authorities, policymakers, consumer and civil society organizations in Spain and Latin America on privacy and data protection issues. She has participated at the Data Privacy Sub-Group of the Electronic Commerce Group of the Asia Pacific Economic Forum, APEC and The Ibero-American Data Protection Network meetings lead by the Spanish Data Protection Authority. 

    Katitza is also a member of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and founder of its Peruvian chapter. She has advised Peruvian policymakers on data protection bills on her country and organized many privacy and data protection conference in Perú and in some others Latin American countries. She conducts training sessions in privacy enhancing technology tools (PETs) for human rights organizations based in Mexico (Mexico City, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Acapulco, Chilpancingo, Monterrey, Reinosa, Salinas Cruz) and Venezuela (Caracas, Mérida, Nueva Esparta, Ciudad Bolivar, Anzoátequi, Puerto Ayacucho). Previously, she introduced Martus and other PET tools to users in Colombia (Bogota, Medellin) and Peru (Lima, Cuzco).


    Richard S. Rosenberg is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computer Science, at the University of British Columbia. His research interests are in the social impact of computers and in Artificial Intelligence (AI). His work in the social impact of computers includes such areas of concern as privacy, freedom of expression, intellectual property rights, universal access, work and education. He has written many papers on privacy issues, free speech, and ethics, and has appeared before federal parliamentary and provincial legislative committees, and made presentations before the U.S. National Research Council. His most recent book is The Social Impact of Computers, 3rd Edition, San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2004. He is on the Board of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, and the president of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.


    Jay Stanley is the Public Education Director of the Technology and Liberty Program of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he researches, writes and speaks about privacy and civil liberties issues related to technology. He is the author and co-author of several major ACLU reports on privacy. He has also spoken as a forceful advocate for privacy in many print, radio and television outlets around the country. Prior to joining the ACLU, Stanley was an analyst at the technology research firm Forrester, where he focused on public policy issues related to the Internet. Before Forrester, he was American politics editor at Facts On File. He is a graduate of Williams College and holds an MA in American History from the University of Virginia.


    Barry Steinhardt served as Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union between 1992 and 2002. In 2002, he was named as the inaugural Director of the ACLU’s Program on Technology and Liberty. He was chair of the 2003 Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference (CFP) and a co-founder of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC), the world's first international coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations concerned with the rights of Internet users to privacy and free expression. He is a member of the Advisory Committee to the US Census and was a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Genetics of the National Conference of State Legislatures. He also was selected to be a member of the US delegation to the G-8 Government and Private Sector Tokyo conference on Cyber Crime.


    Jennifer Stoddart was appointed Canada's Privacy Commissioner, effective December 1, 2003, on unanimous resolutions adopted by both the House of Commons and the Senate, for a seven-year term. Since her arrival, she has led the Office’s institutional renewal, and has also reoriented it toward its multi-disciplinary approach to preventing privacy breaches in the public and private sectors, and to protecting and promoting the privacy rights of Canadians. Ms. Stoddart was previously President of the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec, an organization responsible for both access to information and the protection of personal information. She has held several senior positions in public administration for the Governments of Québec and Canada. Ms. Stoddart has been active in the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, and has also lectured on history and law.


    Helen Wallace is Director of GeneWatch UK, a not-for profit organization which aims to ensure that genetic technologies are used in the public interest. She has worked for GeneWatch UK since 2001, specializing in the implications of genetic databases and human genetic testing for privacy and health. She has published numerous articles and briefings on Britain’s National DNA Database and the UK Biobank genetic research project. Her background is as a scientist and environmentalist. She has a PhD in applied mathematics and has worked as an environmental modeller and as a senior scientist at Greenpeace UK, specializing in radioactive and marine pollution.


    Maureen Webb is a Canadian human rights and labour lawyer. She is the author of Illusions of Security: Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post 9/11 World (City Lights, San Francisco, 2007).  Maureen works for the Canadian Association of University Teachers, is Co-Chair of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, a founder of the International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance (, and Coordinator for security and human rights issues for Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada.  She has written and spoken extensively on post-September 11 issues, most recently speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Maureen was a Fellow at the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University in 2001.



  • There is no charge for registration. As space is limited, participants are advised to register in advance by e-mail at Registration will also be available at the door, starting at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, September 25, 2007.



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