For the past several years, my colleague Ian Kerr has led a remarkable project focusing on anonymity, privacy and identity in a networked society. The project – one of the largest funded SSHRC grants in history – brought together dozens of experts from across Canada and around the world. It was incredibly productive with books, articles, conferences, blog postings, and unparalleled intellectual energy.
Today that project effectively comes to an end with the launch of the book Lessons from The Identity Trail: Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society at an event being hosted by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The book is the first to be published by Oxford University Press under a Creative Commons licence, with the entire book to be made freely available over the course of the next month. Divided into the three main focus areas of privacy, identity, and anonymity, the 28 contributions cover a wide range of cutting edge issues including surveillance, copyright, data mining, and identity cards. Perhaps most timely is a five chapter comparative analysis of anonymity and the law which contrasts the rules in the U.S., Canada, U.K., the Netherlands, and Italy. This is a terrific achievement by an exceptional colleague. Whether you download the book or buy it (20% discount), what is most important is that people read the book and become informed about these critically important issues.