Ian R. Kerr



Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology

Tier 1 - 2010-06-01
University of Ottawa
Social Sciences and Humanities

613-562-5800 ext./poste 3281
iankerr@uottawa.ca

Research involves


Examining the various questions of governance concerning the regulation of on-line conduct and information technologies.

Research relevance


Findings will ultimately lead to improved regulation of on-line activities.

Resolving the Challenges of On-line Regulation


The migration of interpersonal communications and commerce from off-line to on-line environments is a spur in the belly of regulatory bodies in Canada and throughout the world. This is because technological innovation is profoundly affecting the way that we think about existing modalities of regulation. Innovation raises concerns about how best to govern privacy, free speech and personal safety on-line. The regulatory responses currently under consideration will undoubtedly have a tremendous social impact on the public sector, private sector, and the individual as consumer and citizen.

Dr. Ian Kerr, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, is interested in this area of research. He is already a well-known expert in law, philosophy and media studies, and has developed many innovative partnerships with other leading scholars. Dr. Kerr's discoveries and publications are widely cited, and he is often invited to speak at international conferences. Additionally, his current seminars - "Regulation of Internet Communications" and "Technoprudence" - play a pivotal role in graduating highly-skilled students in this emerging field.

As Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology, Dr. Kerr is expanding his expertise in collaboration with leading scholars in relevant fields, and with prominent public- and private-sector research organizations. His interdisciplinary team is examining various ethical and legal questions of governance affecting our lives on-line. Dr. Kerr's team is focusing on two different areas: the regulation of on-line conduct, and the regulation of technologies that create challenges for existing legal, regulatory and social structures. Their investigations relate specifically to anonymous communication, the emerging role of on-line service providers, and the automation of e-commerce.

The knowledge gained through this unique, multi-faceted research will prove invaluable to scholars across the social sciences, humanities and applied sciences. It will also provide businesses and policy makers worldwide with the information tools they need to implement novel regulatory strategies that improve on-line communication and commerce.