understanding the importance and impact of anonymity and authentication in a networked society
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Katie Black
LL.B. Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

Katie is a second year student in the English Common Law program at the University of Ottawa.   She went to law school after obtaining her Honours B.Sc in zoology and psychology from the University of Toronto.  During her B.Sc, she balanced her avid participation in student politics and varsity rowing with her academic exploration of spatial learning in animals and the discriminatory effects of normative-based education policy on Ontario’s disabled.  Katie has had an ongoing interest in how government funding initiatives employ and thereby reinforce cultural, racial and social stereotypes and the rational used by government to justify their employment.   Most of her research to date has involved an exploration of the prevalence and impact of such classification systems in such contexts as education funding for disabled students in public schools and universities, funding programs for battered women’s services and the re-identification of birth mothers in adoption records. This interest is reflected in her current research on the human rights implications of Canada’s no-fly list. At present, she is working on a paper which explores issues that lie at the interface of national security, current surveillance technology and racial profiling.  She is also conducting ongoing research on how the structures of battered women’s support programs influence personal identity and how human enhancement technologies are shifting our normative concept of ability.  In the fall, she will be starting comparative research on the consent gathering processes used for organ donation in Canada and purchase in the U.S. She will focus specifically on the influence of soft paternalism and cognitive factors within these processes.


The human rights implications of Canada’s no-fly list: national security, current surveillance technology, racial profiling and personal identity.

The effects of battered women’s support programs on personal identity.

The effects of human enhancement technologies on our concept of ability: without enhancements, are we all going to be disabled?

How soft paternalism, soft surveillance and cognitive factors influence the consent-gathering process.

The impact of opening up Ontario’s adoption records on women’s reproductive autonomy.


Katie Black, "Excuse me, are you a threat to aviation security?  Canada's No-Fly List" (August 2007), 8(1) The OBA Privacy Law Review: Eye on Privacy, Privacy Law Section

Ian Kerr, Jennifer Barrigar, Jacquelyn Burkell, & Katie Black, “Soft Surveillance, Hard Consent” (May 2006), 6(3) Ontario Bar Association Privacy Law Section News Letter

Patricia Wall, Laura Botly, Katie Black, Sarah Shettleworth, “The geometric module in the rat: independence of shape and feature learning in a food finding task” (2004) 32(3) Learning and Behavior 289-98.

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 Excuse me, are you a threat to aviation security? Canada’s no-fly list

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