Department of Criminology

Valerie Steeves

Professor Valerie Steeves
Professor Valerie Steeves

Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada

Valerie Steeves, B.A., J.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa.  Her main area of research is in human rights and technology issues. Professor Steeves has written and spoken extensively on online issues, and has worked with a number of federal departments, including Industry Canada, Health Canada, Heritage Canada, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, on online policy.  She is also a frequent intervener before parliamentary committees, and has worked with a number of policy groups, including the International Council on Human Rights Policy (Geneva, Switzerland), the House of Lords Constitution Committee on The Impact of Surveillance and Data Collection upon the Privacy of Citizens and their Relationship with the State (United Kingdom), and the Children’s Online Privacy Working Group of the Canadian Privacy and Information Commissioners and Youth Advocates. Her current research focuses on children’s use of networked technologies, and the use of big data for predictive policing. She is the co-principal investigator (with Jane Bailey) of The eQuality Project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which is examining young people’s experiences of privacy and equality in networked spaces.  She is also the lead researcher on the Young Canadian in a Wired World project (YCWW), which has been tracking young people’s use of new media since 1999. 

As a co-investigator of the Big Data Surveillance project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Valerie Steeves is co-leading (with Stéphane Leman-Langlois) research Stream Three: Governance. This stream will examine the use of big data for policing and other forms of social control.

Telephone: 
(613)562-5800 (ext 1793)

Midori Ogasawara

Dr. Midori Ogasawara
Dr. Midori Ogasawara

Banting Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada

Midori Ogasawara completed her PhD in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University in 2018. Her PhD dissertation “Bodies as Risky Resources: The Japanese Identification Systems as Surveillance, Population Control and Colonial Violence in Occupied Northeast China” explores a historical trajectory of today’s biometric technologies. Japan implemented fingerprinting, the forerunner of biometrics, when it occupied Northeast China in 1931-1945. Biometric ID systems became a powerful means of population control, which help the colonizers to classify the colonized to ‘desirable’ and ‘undesirable’. Ogasawara conducted archival and ethnographical research in China in 2016 and interviewed the colonial survivors and their family members who faced violent consequences of Japan’s intensive policing and surveillance.

Dr. Ogasawara is currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa. Her research proposal for the 2018-2019 Banting competition was ranked second out of the 181 applications reviewed by SSHRC. The project investigates collaborative relationship between security intelligence agencies and big data corporations, and analyzes how the collaboration has been altering the legal boundary of mass surveillance in Canada, by legalizing previously illegal surveillance.

Obtaining her first degree in law, Dr. Ogasawara was a staff writer for Japan’s national newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, and was engaged in investigative journalism on surveillance technologies, Japan’s sex slavery during the Second World War, and the US bases in Okinawa. She was awarded the Fulbright Journalist Scholarship and John S. Knight Professional Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University in 2004-2005. During her doctoral studies, she also became a recipient of the highly competitive Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. In 2016, she was the first Japanese researcher/journalist to interview the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden via a video channel, and as a result published two books (2016, 2019) on the NSA’s secret activities in Japan and Japan’s involvement in global surveillance systems. She also translated Dr. David Lyon’s book Surveillance Studies into Japanese (published in 2011).