Bennett, Colin


Phone number: (250) 721-7495
Department: Political Science

Research description:

-Comparative politics and public policy (advanced industrial countries)
-American government and politics
-Information and communications policy
-Privacy and privacy laws
Expertise Profile
How has your right to privacy changed since the advent of the information revolution?

Political scientist Colin Bennett can answer that. He's an expert in privacy and surveillance and for almost 30 years has focused his research on the politics of privacy and on the profound impacts the information age is having on our lives.

"We all need to be aware of our rights, know when and how they might be at risk, and speak up when we need to," he says. "The growing obsession with security is potentially damaging to our personal freedoms and human rights, and to the structure and nature of our cities. It's something everyone should be concerned about."

Dr. Bennett has given many public presentations on privacy and surveillance, and has built a series of websites to help people explore privacy issues. In one site,, people can discover how social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter use their personal information. "In my career, I've never seen a time in which there's been more interest among the public,"

Dr. Bennett says there is a need for experts in the government and in the private sector to help make sense of this complex issue. Over the years, he has written papers that describe how to implement privacy laws, and that diagnose gaps in privacy laws. The government and the privacy commissioner's use those papers to discuss the best ways to deal with privacy issues in Canada.

He works with the Canadian government to deal with privacy issues by writing policy reports demonstrating what laws work and which ones do not. He also helps private sector organizations figure out the best way to comply with those privacy laws.

Health related research:

Some of Dr. Bennett's research on personal data protection touches upon health information systems.

International research:

Research on international communications and information policy, especially relating to the protection of personal data and information privacy.

Countries lived or worked in:

-The U.K. -The U.S.

UVic Speakers bureau

Colin Bennett takes part in the UVic Speakers Bureau.
More information about the Speakers Bureau can be found here.

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