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I am a consultant, researcher, educator, investigator, public speaker, and podcaster that is passionately exploring the complex areas of data ethics, AI, surveillance, and privacy.
I am currently Principal Investigator of A Day in the Life of Metadata, a largescale multidisciplinary investigation team of Professors from Europe, the UK, the US, and Canada to analyze the creation, movement, and transformation of smartphone-based surveillance metadata. Our goal is to educate the public, civil society, lawmakers, politicians, and educators about the everyday ethics, rights, and liberties issues surrounding how corporations and governments use these data for profiling, entertainment, and security purposes. This work began in my capacity as SSHRC Postdoctoral Researcher at the Surveillance Studies Centre, and has been actively supported through the Wicked Ideas Award for multidisciplinary research innovation at Queen's University. For the past few years I have also been working as a Professor of Pandemic Surveillance and AI & Data Ethics.
My intellectual backbone is in communication studies, media studies, critical data studies, critical security studies, surveillance studies, and the sociology of technology. My professional aim is to assist the public and social scientists in critically understanding the sociotechnical and political dimensions of discrete privacy and surveillance data processes.
Under the publishing name "Thomas N. Cooke", my research has been published in leading peer-reviewed academic journals, including International Political Sociology as well as an article coming out later this year in Surveillance & Society. Along with Dr. Sophia Dingli, I am co-editor of Political Silence: Meanings, Functions, and Ambiguity with the Interventions Series of Routledge Press, which brings a number of scholars together from across the world to explore various forms of silence as a mode of political agency and expression.
I consult for public and private sector organizations on upskilling and training in the areas of data and AI ethics and justice as well as privacy and surveillance issues. Throughout 2022 I was a Senior Specialist of AI Ethics at Deloitte Canada where I worked with private sector companies to train their employees and business executives on the ethical implementation and use of data and AI systems. I currently specialize in assisting organizations to recognize and overcome vulnerabilities in workforce awareness of data & AI ethics, privacy, and justice issues in the areas of enterprise data management, policy design and revision, and trustworthiness in technology based upon responsible, accountable, transparent, and self-aware use.
Throughout the pandemic I was Policy Analyst at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
I analyzed Digital Identity systems to identify emerging social and privacy implications for Ontarians, sharing my findings with the Director of Policy, the Assistant Commissioner, and the Commissioner of the OPC.
Prior to this position I served as the first Privacy, Ethics, & Internal Threat Assessment Manager at the Centre for Advanced Computing, Queen's University. In this capacity I created and managed the Privacy & Ethics Team, which was mandated to provide privacy and ethics oversight on the Ministry of Health's (Ontario) Ontario Health Data Platform.
In my spare time, you can find me on the What's That Noise?! podcast, which is co-hosted by my dear friend, Al Coombs. You can find our episodes on Apple Music, Spotify, or you can sample my latest episodes by visiting my podcast page.
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