Lisa Austin is a Professor and Chair in Law and Technology at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and recently served as an Associate Director of the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society (SRI). In addition to her legal training, Lisa holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto.
Her research focuses on privacy law, property law and legal theory, with an emphasis on the impacts of new technologies, the nature of the rule of law, and the boundaries between what the law considers private and public. Her privacy work has been cited numerous times by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. In recognition of her influence on public policy, in 2017 she was one of the inaugural winners of the University of Toronto’s President Impact Award. At the University of Toronto, she has been a leader in creating an interdisciplinary community around privacy issues. She co-founded the IT3 Lab, a 3-year project that focused on innovative interdisciplinary research in law and engineering to make digital technologies more transparent and accountable.
Her current research focuses on moving past privacy law to define and defend a broader idea of “data governance”, and to understand what kind of regulatory infrastructure we need in order to bring about the just and fair conditions of social legibility. She is particularly interested in examining the potential role of data intermediaries in mediating data access between parties in the data ecosystem, and their place in an overall theory of data governance.