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Public Lecture Series

IPSI is once again pleased to present its Public Lecture series where notable speakers from the identity, privacy and security fields present their work and discuss contemporary issues.

The lectures are open to the public and pre-registration is not required. However, sign up sheets will be available at each lecture and we would appreciate if you sign in. Lectures are part of the JIE1001/ECE1518 Course Outline, but enrolment in the course is not necessary to attend the lectures.

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IPSI Public Lecture Series 2020-2021


1. Professor Jason Jaskolka, Carleton University, "Data-Driven Vulnerability Analysis in Critical Infrastructure Systems", November 9, 2021, 12:00 PM Eastern Time.
2. Prof. Benjamin Fung, McGill University, "Machine Learning for Authorship Analysis and Malware Analysis" November 30, 2021, 12:00 PM Eastern Time
3. Professor Rei Safavi-Naini, University of Calgary, "Outsourcing Computation Using Smart Contract", January 25, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time
4. Professor Ali Dehghantanha, University of Guelph, "Cyber Threat Hunting and Intelligence in IOT Environments", February 1, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern time. 5. Prof. Andreas Veneris, ECE, UofT, "Central Bank digital Loonie: Canadian Cash for a a New Global Economy", March 1, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time
6. Christopher Parsons, Citizen Lab, UofT, "Assessing the Watchers of the Watchers: Successes, Missteps, and Opportunities for Reform", March 22, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time
7. Professor Raoulf Boutaba, University of Waterloo, "Unity is Strength and so is Collaborative Security", March 29, 2022, 12:00 PM , Eastern Time.
8. Professor Dima Alhadidi, University of Windsor, "Privacy Preserving Machine Learning Techniques" April 5, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time.
9. Nazanin Rezvani, Microsoft Canada, "The state of cybersecurity - Modern SOC : How companies can leverage Security Information and Event Management to have visibility across entire enterprise and to reduce internal and external threats", April 19, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time
10. Prof. Mohammed Noman, University of Manitoba, "Security and Privacy in the Genomic Era", May 10, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern


Professor Atefeh Mashatan
Ryerson University

TITLE: The Quantum Threat to Cybersecurity and the Complex Path to Quantum-Resistance

DATE: May 4, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 738 3820 8570
Passcode: S7QtYg

There is a new technology on the horizon that will forever change the information security and privacy industry. Quantum computing, together with quantum communication, will have many beneficial applications but will also be capable of efficiently breaking some of today’s most popular cryptographic techniques that are used to ensure data protection, in particular, confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information. Organizations will have to transition from their current quantum-vulnerable state to a quantum-resistant state. This transition will be particularly complex, time-consuming, and expensive for larger organizations with vendor dependencies or legacy infrastructure. In this talk, we will discuss what can and should organizations do now to prepare for the complex path ahead.

Bio: Dr. Atty Mashatan is an associate professor and the founder and director of the Cybersecurity Research Lab (CRL) at Ryerson University. Mashatan’s expertise at the frontlines of the global cybersecurity field was recognized by SC Magazine in 2019, when she was named one of the top five Women of Influence in Security. She was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 19 of 2019 Tech Titans at IBM CASCON Evoke conference. In 2020, she received the Enterprise Blockchain Award in the category of New Frontiers in Blockchain Academic Research by Blockchain Research Institute. Most recently, she received the recognition of Top Women in Cybersecurity in Canada for her efforts in advancing cybersecurity research and training highly qualified personnel in the field.


Professor N. Asokan
University of Waterloo

TITLE: Hardware-assisted Run-time Protection: on balancing security and deployability
DATE: April 13, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 745 1235 2917
Passcode: inW0ik

Run-time attacks are a prominent attack vector for compromising systems written in memory-unsafe languages like C and C++. Over the last decade there has been significant advances by both researchers and practitioners in understanding and defending against run-time attacks. As defenses are gradually being deployed, more sophisticated attacks, like data-oriented attacks will become increasingly attractive. Defenses against run-time attacks must consider how to trade-off security, performance and deployability. Fine-grained software-only defenses are effective, but can be prohibitively expensive. Hardware-based defenses can be effective and efficient but deploying new hardware extensions is difficult. In this talk, I will describe two attempts from our recent work to provide run-time protection, especially for data-oriented attacks. The first, HardScope, is a hardware solution for enforcing lexical scope for variables at run-time. HardScope consists of a small set of proposed processor extensions as well as associated compiler instrumentation. The second, PARTS and PACStack, are software solutions that makes use of an existing hardware-assisted mechanism in ARM processors for pointer authentication (PA). They consist of a set of techniques that use PA in new ways for thwarting run-time attacks.

N. Asokan is a professor of computer science and a Cheriton Chair at the University of Waterloo. He is also an adjunct professor of computer science at Aalto University. His research focus is systems security with particular focus on platform security. Recently he has also begun exploring the security and privacy of systems based on machine learning. He became an academic after a long career in industrial research, first at IBM Research and then at Nokia Research Center. Asokan is a Fellow of IEEE and ACM. You can find more information on his work at his website https://asokan.org/asokan/) or his twitter profile (@nasokan).


Professor Fan Long
Computer Science, University of Toronto

TITLE: Decentralized Blockchain with High Throughput and Fast Confirmation
DATE: April 6, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 729 8232 2400
Passcode: Ey2CNw

I will present Conflux, a scalable and decentralized blockchain system with high throughput and fast confirmation. Conflux operates with a novel consensus protocol which optimistically processes concurrent blocks without discarding any as forks and adaptively assigns weights to blocks based on their topologies in the Con- flux ledger structure (called Tree-Graph). The adaptive weight mechanism enables Conflux to detect and thwart liveness attack by automatically switching between an optimistic strategy for fast confirmation in normal scenarios and a conservative strategy to ensure consensus progress during liveness attacks.

Fan Long is an assistant professor at Computer Science Department in University of Toronto. He holds PhD of Computer Science from MIT. His research interests include programming language, software engineering, security, and blockchain. He is a recipient of ACM SIGSOFT outstanding dissertation award. He is also a co-founder of Conflux, a high-performance next-generation public blockchain project.


John Scott-Railton
Citizen lab, U of T

TITLE: The Proliferation of Cyber Insecurity: How the Global Spyware Industry Threatens Democracy

DATE: March 23, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 755 6451 8099
Passcode: vEWsV5

Citizen Lab Senior Researcher John Scott-Railton will explain how the growing government-exclusive spyware industry is fueling surveillance abuses around the world. Using cases drawn from recent work, this talk will illustrate the scale of the problem, the human impact of the hacking, and some of the techniques that digital spies are using to 'go dark.

John Scott-Railton is a Senior Researcher at Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School. His work focuses on technological threats to civil society, including targeted malware operations and online disinformation. His greatest hits include a collaboration with colleague Bill Marczak that uncovered the first iPhone zero-day and remote jailbreak seen in the wild, as well as the use of NSO Group's Pegasus spyware to human rights defenders, journalists, and opposition movements around the globe. Other investigations with Citizen Lab colleagues include the first report of ISIS-led malware operations, and China's "Great Cannon," the Government of China's nation-scale DDoS attack. John has also investigated Russian and Iranian disinformation campaigns, and the manipulation of news aggregators such as Google News. John has been a fellow at Google Ideas and Jigsaw at Alphabet. He graduated with a University of Chicago and a Masters from the University of Michigan. Previously he founded The Voices Projects, collaborative information feeds that bypassed internet shutdowns in Libya and Egypt.


Professor Joel Reardon
University of Calgary

TITLE: Proximity Tracing in an Ecosystem of Surveillance Capitalism
DATE: March 16, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 793 3992 9359
Passcode: 3B9QJJ

Proximity tracing apps have been proposed as an aide in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Some of those apps leverage attenuation of Bluetooth beacons from mobile devices to build a record of proximate encounters between a pair of device owners. The underlying protocols are known to suffer from false positive and re-identification attacks.
We present evidence that the attacker's difficulty in mounting such attacks has been overestimated. Indeed, an attacker leveraging a moderately successful app or SDK with Bluetooth and location access can eavesdrop and interfere with these proximity tracing systems at no hardware cost and perform these attacks against users who do not have this app or SDK installed. We describe concrete examples of actors who would be in a good position to execute such attacks.
We further present a novel attack, which we call a biosurveillance attack, which allows the attacker to monitor the exposure risk of a smartphone user who installs their app or SDK but who does not use any contact tracing system and may falsely believe they have opted out of the system.
Through traffic auditing with an instrumented testbed, we characterize precisely the behaviour of one such SDK that we found in a handful of apps---but installed on more than one hundred million mobile devices. Its behaviour is functionally indistinguishable from a re-identification or biosurveillance attack and capable of executing a false positive attack with minimal effort. We also discuss how easily an attacker could acquire a position conducive to such attacks, by leveraging the lax logic for granting permissions to apps in the Android framework: any app with some geolocation permission could acquire the necessary Bluetooth permission through an upgrade, without any additional user prompt.

Joel Reardon is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Parex Innovations Fellow at the University of Calgary. He is also a co-founder of Appcensus, Inc., which provides privacy analytics as a service in the mobile world. He studies systems security at all software layers, and has particular interest in mobile security and privacy, tools for privacy compliance, and secure storage.


Prof. Mohammad Mannan
Concordia University

Title: In the name of security: a critical evaluation of online security products
DATE: March 2, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 712 9292 7843
Passcode: f2Hm6M

Computer users are often strongly recommended to use security products to make their internet experience a safer one. Apart from attacks continuously evolving to side-step security features provided by these products, every now and then, these products themselves become a source of serious security and privacy risks. In this seminar, I will talk about our evaluation of some of these products: a selected set of anti-virus applications, enterprise network appliances, and parental control solutions. Our findings uncover several critical design and implementation flaws, and question the current best-practice of continued use of these products.

Mohammad Mannan is an associate professor at Concordia University, Montreal. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carleton University (2009) in the area of Internet authentication and usable security. His research interests lie in the area of Internet and systems security, with a focus on solving high-impact security and privacy problems of today's Internet.


Prof. Lianying Zhao
Carleton University

Title: Reflections on the Trustworthiness of Hardware in Computer Security

DATE: February 16, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77685056978?pwd=eGhNSW4zK0tWZHkrSGN0eWdoaWNNdz09
Meeting ID: 776 8505 6978
Passcode: ieBjH8

Computer hardware refers to the tangible physical components, or specifically the circuitry driven by the "instructions" known as software. With the advancement of semiconductor manufacturing, more and more computer functions can be implemented in dedicated/discrete hardware components with reasonable cost, sometimes for performance purposes (e.g., 3D hardware acceleration), and in some other cases for better security benefits (e.g., a self-encrypting drive or a USB security token), which will be the topic of this talk. Such (perceived) security benefits are rooted in certain intrinsic properties of hardware. We will start by discussing these properties and how they enable the security benefits with real-world examples to facilitate understanding. Then, the discussion will focus on how such perception can be overturned by a few underlying aspects, in particular, a phenomenon we refer to as the firmwarization of hardware. Moreover, several popular hardware security features and their corresponding use and trustworthiness will be briefly introduced, for those of the audience who are interested. This talk draws attention to the fact that while hardware does possess unique properties determining its important roles in security, proper positioning with the right level of trust is necessary, as opposed to treating it as a jack of all trades.

Dr. Lianying Zhao is an Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science, Carleton University, Ottawa. His research interests include hardware/architectural security support (in particular, trusted computing), systems security, authentication, and privacy. He received a Ph.D. from Concordia University, Montreal in 2018, prior to which he had six years of experience working mainly on mainframe at IBM. He was an NSERC postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Toronto in 2019.

JOINT Cybersecurity and Resilience Institute AND IPSI PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES PRESENTS:

Professor Robert Heynen
York Uiniversity

Title: Anti-trafficking, Securitization, and the Surveillance State

DATE: February 9, 2021
TIME: 12:00-1:30 pm. Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 741 1211 8184
Passcode: Rk8hrH

Anti-trafficking has become increasingly prominent in legitimizing a wide range of surveillance, security, and policing interventions. However, these interventions often create greater harm even for those communities they are ostensibly helping or ‘rescuing,’ most notably sex workers and migrant labourers, and leverage a seeming consensus on the evils of trafficking to expand broader surveillance apparatuses. This talk will develop a critique of dominant anti-trafficking approaches through a focus on the development and implications of new technologies and online surveillance tools designed to combat trafficking. These tools are often created through intensive cooperation between state security agencies, police, military, universities, corporations (especially in the tech sector), and NGOs. A critical analysis of this emerging anti-trafficking surveillant assemblage foregrounds not only the negative impacts on sex workers and migrants, but also myriad other potential issues ranging from privacy concerns to the repurposing of anti-trafficking surveillance practices for larger projects of securitization.

Rob Heynen is Associate Professor in Communication Studies at York University. His current research interests include historical and contemporary forms of surveillance, especially in relation to biometrics, eugenics, and anti-trafficking. He is the author of Degeneration and Revolution: Radical Cultural Politics and the Body in Weimar Germany (2015), and co-editor of Expanding the Gaze: Gender and the Politics of Surveillance (2016) and Making Surveillance States: Transnational Histories (2019).

JOINT Cybersecurity and Resilience Institute AND IPSI PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES PRESENTS:

Professor Rozita Dara
University of Guelph

TITLE: An Artificial Intelligence-based Approach for Trust and Privacy Management in the Internet of Things

DATE: February 2, 2021
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 732 6584 6986
Passcode: gx10Wx

The Internet of Things (IoT) can deliver personalized services to individuals. This pervasive digital ecosystem controls devices that are embedded in our everyday lives and collect individuals' information. Despite all the advantages, this technology comes with a cost for collecting, storing and processing highly sensitive data which brings potential vulnerabilities to IoT applications. These vulnerabilities lead to concerns related to privacy, security, and trustworthiness of the services provided by IoT. This talk reviews these concerns and existing technology solutions that have been designed to address security, privacy and trust. It will also present a novel artificial intelligence-based approach for the enhancement of privacy and trust in IoT.

Dr. Dara is the Principal Investigator of Data Management and Privacy Governance research program at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on data analytics and data governance with a particular focus on applications such as privacy-enhancing IoT and responsible artificial intelligence. She is also the Data Strategy Director working on Smart Farm data governance projects in collaboration with the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance. Prior to joining the University of Guelph, Dr. Dara has worked in industry (BlackBerry) and government (Office of Information and Privacy Commissioners/Ontario).

Cybersecurity and Resilience Institutional Strategic Initiative at the University of Toronto.
Identity, Privacy and Security Institute (IPSI).

Prof. Thirimachos Bourlai, Ph.D.
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, UGA (University of Georgia)

TITLE: HeartID Recent Advances in ECG-based Human Authentication
DATE: December 1, 2020
TIME: 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 727 0007 6648
Passcode: v3jgNV

Short Bio: Thirimachos Bourlai is an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at the University of Georgia. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Medicine - Department of Ophthalmology, the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science, and the Department of Chemical Engineering, all at WVU. He is the founder and director of the Multi-Spectral Imagery Lab, a Series Editor of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications - book series by Springer (since 2015), an Associate Editor of the Pattern Recognition Letters (Elsevier) and IET Electronics Letters Journal, a member of the Board of Directors at the Document Security Alliance, the VP on Education of the IEEE Biometrics Council, an Advisory Board Member of the IDGA Biometrics and Law Enforcement Conference, and a member of the Academic Research and Innovation Expert Group of the Biometrics Institute. He is a reviewer for several premier journals and conferences in computer vision, biometrics and related areas. He has published 3 books (Springer - "Face Recognition Across the Imaging Spectrum, 2016", "Surveillance in Action, 2018", and "Securing Social Identity in Mobile Platforms, 2020"), has 3 patents, and about 120 journals, conference papers, book chapters and magazine articles.

Background: https://multispectralimagerylab.wvu.edu/team/thirimachos-bourlai

Abstract: Electrocardiography (ECG) is the process of recording the electrical activity of the human heart over time using electrodes that are placed over the skin. While the primary usage of electrocardiograms, the recorded signals, has been focused on the check of signs of heart-related diseases, recent studies have moved also toward their usage for human authentication. Thus, an ECG signal can be unique enough to be used independently as a biometric modality. In addition to its inherent liveness detection, it is easy to collect and can be easily captured either via sensors attached to the human body (fingertips, chest, wrist) or even passively using wireless sensors. In this presentation, we will discuss a novel approach that exploits the spectro-temporal dynamic characteristics of the ECG signal to establish personal recognition system using both short-time Fourier transform (STFT) and generalized Morse wavelets (CWT). This process results in enriching the information extracted from the original ECG signal that is inserted in a 2D convolutional neural network (CNN). This network extracts higher level and subject-specific ECG-based features for everyone. To validate our proposed CNN model, we performed nested cross-validation using eight different ECG databases. These databases are considered challenging since they include both normal and abnormal heartbeats as well as a dynamic number of subjects. In this presentation we will show that our proposed algorithms yield superior performance when compared to other state-of-art ECG identification approaches discussed in the literature. Specifically, the proposed STFT-based approach yields an average identification rate, equal error rate (EER), and area under curve (AUC) of 97.86%, 2.68%, and 0.9933 respectively, whereas the proposed CWT-based approach yields the following comparable results, i.e. 97.5% (average rate), 3.86% (EER), and 0.9882 (AUC) respectively. The presentation is expected to conclude and go beyond the selected research topic and provide a brief overview of other innovations of Dr. Bourlai's group.

IPSI Public Lecture Series 2020

Dr. Amir Abiri Jahromi
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. - Department of Electrical & Computer
Engineering University of Toronto

TITLE: Cybersecurity in Smart Grids

DATE: March 11, 2020
TIME: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LOCATION: WB130, Wallberg Building, 184-200 College Street, M5S 3E5
Electric power systems are undergoing a digital transformation moving toward a smart and sustainable operating environment in which system components are enabled to engage in optimal power system operation and planning. This has increased the cyberattack surfaces across electric grid components and promoted the cybersecurity of assets in power systems to a top priority for regulatory agencies and utilities, in particular following the successful cyberattacks against Ukrainian power infrastructures. In this talk, we start with an overview of smart grids. We present individual parts that make up smart grids and different types of control systems, devices and technologies typically found within smart grids. Next, we introduce the Purdue model for smart grids which describes different zones of industrial control systems (ICS) as well as network technologies and protocols that are used for communication between them. Next, we focus on substations as the most important part of smart grids and discuss the digital transformation of substations and their need for cybersecurity analysis. We explain the development of cosimulation platforms for cybersecurity analysis of substations and the associated challenges. The talk concludes by providing several examples for cybersecurity analysis of substations.
Currently a research associate at the University of Toronto, Amir Abiri Jahromi received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in 2016. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Denver in 2017. His research interests are in the fields of power system modeling, cyberphysical security, reliability, economics and optimization of power systems.


Dr. Christopher Parsons,
Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

"Huawei and 5G: Clarifying the Canadian Equities"

DATE: March 4, 2020
TIME: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LOCATION: WB130, Wallberg Building, 184-200 College Street, M5S 3E5

Issues concerning Huawei and 5G have become particularly complicated in Canada. To the south, the United States?Canada?s largest trading partner and principal security ally?has called for Canada to ban Huawei on national security grounds while, separately, repeatedly placing economic pressure on Canada to the point of compelling the Canadian government to look to China as a place to diversify its trading relationships. Furthermore, and at the behest of the United States? Department of Justice, a Huawei executive and daughter of the company?s founder was arrested by Canadian authorities for potentially engaging in conspiracy to defraud banks. In response to the arrest, the Chinese government has functionally seized Canadians in China as hostages and re-sentenced Canadians in Chinese prisons to death. Canada is also attempting to expand its trading relationships throughout Asia and, as such, must be mindful of the pressures China might bring to bear to either facilitate or inhibit such expansions. China has also passed legislation that analysts broadly believe permits the Chinese government to compel companies, such as Huawei, to repurpose their products for state surveillance purposes and potentially to the detriment of Canadian economic and national security interests. In aggregate, the push/pull between the United States and China has placed Canada in the middle of a geopolitical contest that is largely not of Canada?s own making. Canada is currently stuck between the belligerence of its southern neighbour and ally and that of China, a rising power that Canada is obligated to engage with on economic and political grounds. Given this range of equities, the 5G question is not merely one of economics, politics, or national security: it is all of these, and more. This talk begins with an overview of 5G as well as a brief corporate profile of Huawei. Both of these are meant to provide high-level overviews, and not to serve as comprehensive accounts of either the technology or all of the subtleties of the company. Subsequently, I provide an overview of the concerns linked with Huawei?s 5G networking products. Specifically, I address issues pertaining to intellectual property, monopoly and trading, national security, and broader economic and rule of law issues associated with the China-backed company. In some cases, I identify possible mitigations to the challenges linked with Huawei products. These mitigations, however, do not necessarily cohere with one another across the range of policy issues: adoption of some might preclude the adoption of others. I conclude by offering a broad summary assessment of the challenge facing the government of Canada and some minor recommendations with regards to advancing towards policy solutions related to discrete issues associated with Huawei?s 5G-related products.
Dr. Christopher Parsons received his Bachelor?s and Master?s degrees from the University of Guelph, and his Ph.D from the University of Victoria. He is a Senior Research Associate at Citizen Lab, in the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy with the University of Toronto. His research focuses on third-party access to telecommunications data, data privacy, data security, and national security. In addition to publishing in academic journals and presses on topics such as national security, internet privacy, and government surveillance practices, he routinely presents findings to members of government and the media. His work has been recognized by information and privacy commissioners, Canadian political parties, and national and international non-profits as advancing the state of privacy discourse.

IPSI Public Lecture Series 2018

Tuesday, February 6 David J. Phillips, University of Toronto
Topic: Promoting Semiotic Democracy in Infrastructures of Actuarial Surveillance
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Room UC140, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)
Tuesday, February 13 David Lyon, Queen's University
Topic: The Culture of Surveillance
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Room UC140, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)
Tuesday, March 13 Ali Miri, Ryerson University
Topic: Finding a Needle in an Encrypted Haystack
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Room UC140, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)
Tuesday, March 20 Uyen Trang Nguyen, York University
Topic: Online Social Networks: Malware Threats and Countermeasures in Relation to Network Topological Properties
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Room UC140, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)
Tuesday, April 3 Khaled El Emam, University of Ottawa
Topic: Managing Privacy Risks when Sharing Health Data
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Room UC140, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)














IPSI Public Lecture Series 2017

Thursday, January 19 Ann Cavoukian, Ryerson University
Topic: There has Never been a Greater Need to Embed Privacy and Security, by Design: Tech Research is Essential
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Room RS211, UofT, (Rosebrugh Building, 164 College Street)
Thursday, February 2 Arash Mohammadi, Concordia University
Topic: Secure State Estimation in Cyber-Physical Systems/Smart Grids: Challenges and Opportunities
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Room RS211, UofT, (Rosebrugh Building, 164 College Street)
Thursday, March 9 Petros Spachos, University of Guelph
Topic: Security and Privacy in Smart Cities Applications: Challenges and Research Opportunities
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Room RS211, UofT, (Rosebrugh Building, 164 College Street)
Thursday, March 16 Avi Goldfarb, University of Toronto
Topic: Privacy and Innovation
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Room RS211, UofT, (Rosebrugh Building, 164 College Street)
Wednesday, April 5 Andrew Clement, University of Toronto
Topic: Tracking Canadians' data through Trump's America. Better to keep it more local?
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Room BA1240, UofT, (Bahen Centre, 40 St. George Street)
Thursday, April 6 Mourad Debbabi, Concordia University
Topic: Towards an Enhanced Security for the Smart Grid
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Room RS211, UofT, (Rosebrugh Building, 164 College Street)
















IPSI Public Lecture Series 2016

Monday, November 14 Colin Bennett, University of Victoria
Topic: The 2016 US Presidential Election: Did the winner have the better data?
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Room GB244, UofT, (Galbraith Building, 35 St. George St)




IPSI Public Lecture Series 2015 PDF

Monday, November 9 Mark Fabro, President and Chief Security Officer for Lofty Perch
Topic: Privacy Impacts of Cyber Security Vulnerabilities in Smart Grid Deployments
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Room RS211, UofT, (Rosebrugh Building, 164 College Street)
Monday, November 16 Seth Hardy, Malware Analyst
Topic: Characterizing and Quantifying Politically-Motivated Targeted Malware
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Room UC179, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)
Monday, November 23 Jennifer Whitson, University of Waterloo
Topic: Play / Data / Addiction: Gamifying the Management of Health Risk
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Room UC179, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)
Monday, November 30 Anita Fineberg, Health Lawyer, Author and Professor
Topic: Let’s Talk Privacy: Information Technologists, Lawyers and Policy Analysts Have a Conversation
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Room UC179, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)
Monday, December 7 Ciara Bracken-Roche, Queen's University
Topic: Exploring the Canadian Drone-scape: Regulations, Implications, and Some Cases
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Room UC179, UofT, (University College, 15 King's College Cir)













IPSI Public Lecture Series 2014 PDF

Monday, October 20 Nasir Memon, NYU-Polytechnic
Topic: Authentication on Emerging Interfaces. Exploring alternatives to text based passwords.
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Room MC252, UofT, (Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 College Street)
Monday, October 27 Andrew Clement, University of Toronto
Topic: Internet Privacy and Security after Snowden
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Room MC252, UofT, (Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 College Street)
Monday, November 10 Kevin Haggrety, University of Alberta
Topic: ISurveillance: The master patterns
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Room MC252, UofT, (Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 College Street)
Monday, November 24 Avner Levin, Ryerson University
Topic: Losing the Battle but Winning the War? The Shift in Privacy Regulation from Collection to Use and its Implications
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Room MC252, UofT, (Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 College Street)











IPSI Public Lecture Series 2013

Friday, October 11 Anurag K. Srivastava, Washington State Univerity
Topic: Security Analysis with Incomplete Information and Cyber-Physical Simulation for Power Grid
11:30 am - 12:30pm
Room MB128, UofT, (Mining Bulding, 170 College street)
Monday, October 28 Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner
Topic: Introducing Privacy-Protective Surveillance: Achieving Privacy and Effective Counter-Terrorism
11:30 am - 12:30pm
Room MB128, UofT, (Mining Bulding, 170 College street)
Monday, November 11 Lalitha Sankar, Arizona State University
Topic: Competitive Privacy in the Smart Grid
11:30 am - 12:30pm
Room MB128, UofT, (Mining Bulding, 170 College street)
Friday, November 15 Rajen Akalu, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Topic: Privacy and New Technology: Concepts, Controversies and the Search for Solutions
1:00 pm - 2:30pm
Room BA1230, UofT, (Bahen Centre, 40 St. George Street)
Monday, November 25 Ashish Khisti, University of Toronto
Topic: Information Theoretic Security: Fundamentals and Applications
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Room MB128, UofT, (Mining Bulding, 170 College street)












IPSI Public Lecture Series 2012 PDF

IPSI Public Lecture Series 2011 PDF

IPSI Public Lecture Series 2010 PDF

IPSI Public Lecture Series 2009 PDF

Symposiums and Other Events

IPSI is pleased to present special events like its Symposiums where relevant research pertaining to the current discourse of identity, security, and privacy is discussed.

[Click to go back to Public Lecture Series]

Teach-in on University e-Services Outsourcing to U.S. Corporations PDF

Saturday November 16, 2013, 9AM - 4PM
Faculty of Information, 140 St. George Street, University of Toronto

This teach-in aims to help affected users, and Canadians more generally, understand the issues at stake as well as contribute to better informed decisions around university e-service outsourcing. The one day event seeks to bring together privacy, security, surveillance and outsourcing experts with representatives of various stakeholders in an open and stimulating exchange of views.

IPSI Research Day - Proportionate Digital ID + Video Surveillance

Monday June 20, 2012, 9:30am - 4:30pm
Faculty of Information at U of Toronto, Room 728

Sponsor: Identity Privacy and Security Institute (IPSI)

This is a free, open, public workshop. Lunch is provided for registrants. To register, contact the local organizer, Eleonore Fournier-Tombs, confirming lunchtime attendance by noon, Friday, June 17.

The focus of this year's IPSI Research Day is on two research projects dealing respectively with:

  • an experimental, minimally disclosing digital ID wallet we refer to as Proportionate ID
  • a study of private sector video surveillance installations and signage in relation to PIPEDA compliance we refer to as Smart Private Eyes

Both projects have been funded by the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Andrew Clement, Roxanna Dehghan, Joseph Ferenbok, Eleonore Fournier-Tombs, Laura Kaminker, Brenda McPhail, Grant Patten, Gabriel Resch, Alex Tichine, Silvia Valdman, Jennette Weber.

Proportionate ID
Smart Private Eyes

Indian National ID Card Project

Dr. Usha Ramanathan, Indian Legal Expert
Thursday, May 17, 2012, 4 - 5:30PM
Faculty of Information, 140 St George St, Room 728

India launched a biometric-based ID project in 2009. In the beginning, it was said that enrolment would be voluntary, minimum data gathered and the data not shared. It was about enrolment, de-duplication and authentication. Soon, this was to change. Many ambitions surfaced. Surveillance, social control, tracking and tagging of political dissent; state as committed consumer of technology; reversing the transparency introduced by the Right to Information law in 2005, and introducing the transparent citizen/resident; managerial and administrative pragmatism - - the logic for the project lies in these diverse possibilities. Convergence of data bases, function creep, profiling, and attempts at ubiquity are concerns that resonate in many political climates. Inclusion becomes the threat of exclusion. The relationship between the state and the citizen is altered, with the threat of the citizen becoming subject. Axioms emerge: `the poor have no use for privacy', and `privacy is an elite concept'. The poor provide a legitimising platform for this country-scale experimentation, as does national security, as does corruption, and as does plain pragmatism. States of exception begin to unfold.

Dr Usha Ramanathan is an internationally recognized expert on law and poverty. She is an Honorary Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi. She guest lectures at many universities around the world. She is a frequent adviser to non-governmental organisations and international organizations. She was, for instance, a member of Amnesty International's Advisory Panel on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Ramanathan's research interests include human rights, displacement, torts and environment. She has been tracking, and engaging with, the Unique Identification project in India and has written, and debated extensively, on the subject. Her work draws heavily upon non- governmental experience in its encounters with the state, a 6 year stint with a law journal as reporter from the Supreme Court, and engaging with matters of public policy. Some of her writings can be found at http://www.ielrc.org/.

IPSI SmartData International Symposium

May 14-16, 2012
University of Toronto

SmartData is a vision to create Internet-based virtual agents which will act as an individual's online proxy to securely store their personal information and disclose it based upon the context of the data request and instructions authorized by the data subject.

Join us, as we feature a group of renowned international and local experts from a wide range of disciplines, discussing topics such as evolutionary robotics/computing, cognitive science, dynamical systems, neuroscience/brain imaging, philosophy of science, high performance reconfigurable computer systems and disruptive technical innovation.

IPSI Research Symposium 2010

IPSI Research Symposium 2009 PDF

IPSI Research Symposium 2008 PDF