Law, Technology And Privacy
“This is the perfect place to explore the implications of what happens when law meets technology.” – Dr. Michael Geist, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law
The intersection of law and technology, privacy, the Internet and e-commerce has increasingly important implications for our everyday lives. Whether it’s government surveillance of personal communications or cellphones that track their user’s movements, technology often outpaces law and regulations.
At the University of Ottawa, law and technology experts explore the need for new policy and legislation and changes to existing law. “Technology, communications issues and the Internet have really moved to the forefront of government policies,” says Michael Geist, professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law. Those shifting priorities create increased research and advocacy opportunities for students drawn to the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), the only legal clinic of its kind in Canada.
At the clinic, students volunteer and intern for credits. Their briefs, testimony to parliamentary committees and interventions in cases before the Privacy Commissioner and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission have directly influenced policy and law.
“CIPPIC has been a huge success story,” says Geist. The clinic’s focus on representing the public interest in litigation and policy attracted the attention of two U.S. academics, who support CIPPIC—the very first legal clinic outside the United States that Robert Glushko and Pamela Samuelson have supported.
“They have invested in it, recognizing that what we are doing is world class and worth supporting,” says Geist. Thanks to the Samuelson-Glushko donation, the clinic is able to offer fellowships and the experiential learning experiences that make University of Ottawa students leaders in law and technology. “The level of influence that CIPPIC has had in helping to shape the laws and bringing cases forward…indicates it has filled a void that early on we didn’t know we had,” adds Geist.