As described by his friends and colleagues, Ian Kerr had an immeasurable impact on the privacy community. The former Canada research chair in ethics, law and technology at the University of Ottawa, who died in August at age 54, provided a leading voice and countless contributions to the areas of law and technology, as well as the interplay between the two.
Kerr’s work and innovative thinking have indeed left an indelible mark, but the International Association of Privacy Professionals has plans to cement Kerr’s place in the privacy community. The IAPP announced the creation of the the Ian Kerr Memorial Lecture Series, which will take place annually at the Canada Privacy Symposium each spring.
“Ian was instrumental in advancing the growth and visibility of the profession,” IAPP President and CEO J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP, said. “This lecture series will pay homage to his contributions and ensure his legacy lives on at each year’s event. Ian will forever be missed by his colleagues and peers. The IAPP is proud to celebrate his many accomplishments and preserve his memory in this way.”
Kerr’s privacy contributions include a slew of scholarly work, including authored books, research studies and articles focused on ethics, law and technology. His work as an educator and mentor was also exemplary, evidenced by such recognitions as the Bank of Nova Scotia Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Award of Teaching Excellence.
“His talks were always the perfect blend of entertaining and educational,” IAPP Managing Director for Canada Kris Klein, CIPP/C, CIPM, FIP, said. “It’s with this in mind that we wanted to pay tribute to him by inviting noted professionals to speak in the time slot we are reserving for the Ian Kerr Memorial Lecture.”
Michael Geist, Kerr’s colleague and fellow University of Ottawa professor, will give the inaugural lecture in the memorial series at this year’s Symposium in Toronto. Klein said Geist was the obvious choice to kick-off the series given his connection with Kerr and how Geist’s “passion and intellect mimic Ian’s in many ways.”
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