SSC Seminar Series: Cynthia Khoo (Research Fellow, Citizen Lab, University of Toronto)

Uninstalling Fear: What Can the Law Do about Stalkerware Surveillance and Abuse

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

12:30 – 2 pm

Mackintosh Corry Hall D411


Stalkerware is a form of mobile spyware app that is closely tied to intimate partner abuse, and is widely available, affordable, and easily purchased online. Often, such apps are branded as "child safety" or "employee monitoring" apps, though sometimes they are explicitly advertised for spying on spouses and partners. They come with intrusive capabilities such as real-time surveillance of someone's text messages, call history, social media accounts (including Twitter direct messages, Tinder matches, and Instagram messages), GPS location, photos and videos, and remote access to the phone camera and microphone. Analyzing such technology from a law and policy perspective raises a host of questions: What does Canadian law have to say about this kind of software, when used in this way? How does the dual-use nature of technology impact potential legal responses and regulatory options? What legal remedies are there for victims of stalkerware abuse and harassment? 

About the Speaker:

Cynthia Khoo is a research fellow at the Citizen Lab (Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto), as well as a technology and human rights lawyer. She is currently completing a Master of Laws (LL.M., with Concentration in Law and Technology) at the University of Ottawa, where she interned at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC).Cynthia is also the digital policy columnist at The Monitor, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and serves on the board of directors for Open Privacy, a Vancouver-based NGO. 

Everyone welcome!