Christopher Parsons

Christopher Parsons

Senior Technology and Policy Advisor, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario; formerly, Senior Research Associate and Managing Director of the Telecom Transparency Project at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto (Toronto, ON)

September 12, 2021

Christopher Parsons’ interests include how privacy is affected by digitally mediated surveillance, and the normative implications that such surveillance has in (and on) contemporary Western political systems. He is a Senior Research Associate at the Munk School’s Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, where his research focuses on third-party access to telecommunications data, data privacy, data security, and national security. Christopher holds a PhD in Political Science from the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he completed a dissertation that examined the political drivers of internet service providers’ network surveillance practices. He is also a Privacy by Design Ambassador and former Principal at Block G Privacy and Security Consulting.

Dr. Parsons has written policy reports for civil advocacy organizations in Canada, submitted evidence to Parliamentary committees, and been an active member of the Canadian privacy advocacy community. He has been involved in and led projects examining lawful access legislation, national security and intelligence legislation and practices, government management of computer security vulnerabilities, identity management systems, automatic license plate recognition technologies, network management and surveillance practices in Western democratic states, technical and policy issues linked to encryption, privacy issues linked to social media services, policy and privacy challenges associated with IMSI Catchers, the privacy implications of unmanned aerial vehicles, threats associated with stalkerware, and geo-strategic policies that are needed to manage critical infrastructure.

Dr. Parsons has published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, European Journal of Law and Technology, Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, Business & Society, Canadian Privacy Law Review, and CTheory, among others. He has published book chapters in a series of academic and popular presses, and written numerous reports with the Citizen Lab. His research has been funded by SSHRC, the New Transparency Project, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s contributions programs, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, and by civil advocacy organizations. He regularly presents his research to government, media, the public, and at academic events.

Role: Panel Member
Report: Vulnerable Connections (March 2023)