Camera Surveillance in Canada: A Research Workshop

Camera Surveillance in Canada: A Research Workshop

January 14-16*, 2010, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Sponsored by the 2009-2010 Contributions Program of the
Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC), Ottawa

*The workshop will coincide with the opening of an art exhibition called Sorting Daemons: Art, Surveillance Regimes and Social Control and a related symposium at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC) at Queen's University. There will be additional AEAC programming happening on Sunday 17 January, which you may wish to plan to attend.

The Camera Surveillance Awareness Network (SCAN) invites paper proposals for a workshop on camera surveillance. This research workshop will explore developments and policy implications of camera surveillance in the Canadian context. We welcome proposals on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • case studies on the use of camera surveillance in any context
  • international, technological and corporate themes
  • historical and urban planning perspectives
  • public perceptions
  • legal and policy considerations
  • privacy and security issues associated with camera surveillance systems, including police, private security and small business
  • camera surveillance at mega events
  • camera surveillance, race and gender
  • an examination of the ways ordinary people use cameras for surveillance purposes in their homes, offices or in public or semi-public spaces (e.g. parking lots, walkways, courtyards, alleys
  • popular resistance to or rejection of video surveillance
  • ethics of video surveillance

Cameras have been appearing for some years in the streets, shopping malls, airports, train stations, arenas, educational institutions and even convenience stores and taxicabs, yet no one has undertaken a systematic survey of what's happening in the Canadian context. A Report on Camera Surveillance in Canada prepared by SCAN and funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner under the 2008-09 Contributions Program, pulls together existing research and offers some of the history of camera surveillance in Canada, the driving forces behind the trends, the deployment of cameras in specific sites and some of the issues, such as the effectiveness of systems, and privacy and civil liberties questions, raised by this relatively new development.

The report identifies the need for further research in many key areas. The aim of the workshop is to build upon this report by generating fresh, clear, independent findings on camera surveillance in Canada and to have an open and public discussion of issues related to privacy and camera surveillance.

This workshop is open to those researching camera surveillance in Canada and abroad, as well as privacy stakeholders, industry representatives, law enforcement, government departments, policy-makers, media and public interest groups.

We are delighted to announce that Clive Norris (Sheffield University, UK) will give an opening keynote on Thursday evening, 14 January, 2010.

A maximum of 16 proposals will be selected for presentation at the workshop. Successful applicants will be notified by September 30th 2009, with full papers due on December 15th 2009, to be made available to other participants in advance of the January workshop. Presenters who are unable to secure funding through their university or employer for travel and accommodation are eligible to obtain assistance for economy travel and three nights’ hotel accommodation.

A final report with policy recommendations at several levels will be generated from the proceedings, and will be publicly available online by May 2010. Authors should bear in mind that all papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited book. The papers should be original and not previously published. We welcome comments or questions on this or any other matter at an early stage.

About SCAN:
SCAN is a group of Canadian Researchers led by David Lyon under the aegis of The Surveillance Project and with links to The New Transparency Project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

Complete call for papers here: