SSC Virtual Seminar: Kate Robertson, Cynthia Khoo, & Yolanda Song, The Citizen Lab

Algorithmic Policing and Surveillance in Canada: The Defining Role of Reliability, Necessity, and Proportionality in 21st Century Oversight

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

12:30 – 1:30 pm

*Due to the limited capacity of the online-meeting platform, we have to adopt a first-come-first-serve principle. We will send the seminar link and password to registered participants.
Please RSVP to Delano Aragao Vaz by Sunday, November 8, 2020.


New research by the Citizen Lab and International Human Rights Program at University of Toronto documents a growing trend in law enforcement in Canada towards the use of algorithmic policing technology, including automated surveillance and "predictive policing". This talk focuses on how the use of algorithmic surveillance threatens fundamental freedoms protected under the Charter and international human rights law. The authors of the report, To Surveil and Predict: A Human Rights Analysis of Algorithmic Policing in Canada, discuss what oversight must look like in the 21st century, and the principles of reliability, necessity, and proportionality in law reform ahead.

Read the full report and our explanatory guide that provides a summary of research findings as well as questions and answers from the research team.

About the speakers:

Kate Roberson is a criminal defence lawyer at Markson Law in Toronto and a Citizen Lab Research Fellow. Her criminal defence practice includes both trial and appellate work, focusing on a range of criminal law cases, including white-collar crime, sexual offences, and computer-based investigations and crime. She previously acted as a provincial Crown prosecutor in Ontario and as a Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada. She holds a J.D from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.

Cynthia Khoo is a Research Fellow at the Citizen Lab and a technology and human rights lawyer. She holds an LL.M. (Concentration in Law and Technology) from the University of Ottawa and interned as a research student and junior counsel at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. Her work spans across key areas of digital rights law and policy, including privacy, surveillance, intermediary liability, freedom of expression, equality, and technology-facilitated abuse.

Yolanda Song is a civil litigation lawyer at Stevenson Whelton LLP in Toronto. Her practice includes government litigation and general administrative and constitutional law. Yolanda worked as the William Graham Research Fellow at the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, and she continues to work as a pro bono research associate for the IHRP. She holds a J.D. from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.

Everyone welcome!