Lisa Austin
Professor, Chair in Law and Technology

Jackman Law Building 464
78 Queen's Park

Tel.: 416-946-7447

Lisa Austin, BA &Sc (McMaster) 1994, MA (Toronto) 1995, LLM (Toronto) (1998), PhD (Toronto) 2005, called to the Bar of Ontario in 2006, is a Professor of Law. Prior to joining the faculty, she served as law clerk to Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada. Professor Austin received a 2017 President's Impact Award from the University of Toronto.

Professor Austin is an Associate Director at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, and was previously a co-founder of the IT3 Lab at the University of Toronto, which engaged in interdisciplinary research on privacy and transparency.

Professor Austin's research and teaching interests include privacy law, property law, and legal theory. She is published in such journals as Legal TheoryLaw and PhilosophyTheoretical Inquiries in Law, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, and Canadian Journal of Law and Society. She is co-editor (with Dennis Klimchuk) of Private Law and the Rule of Law (Oxford University Press, 2015), in which distinguished Canadian and international scholars take on the general understanding that the rule of law is essentially only a doctrine of public law and consider whether it speaks to the nature of law more generally and thus also engages private law.

Professor Austin's privacy work has been cited numerous times by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She is also active in a number of public policy debates in Canada. 


Selected publications

"Automating Accountability? Privacy Policies, Data Transparency, and the Third Party Problem" (with David Lie, Peter Yi Paing Sun, Wenjun Qiu) (2022) 72 UTLJ 155.

“Data Trusts and the Governance of Smart Environments: Lessons from the Failure of Sidewalk Labs’ Urban Data Trust” (with David Lie), (2021) 19 Surveillance and Society 255.

"Safe Sharing Sites" (with David Lie) 94 NYU L Rev 4 (October 2019).

“Re-Reading Westin” (2019) 20 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 53.

"The Public Nature of Private Property" in James Penner and Michael Otsuka (eds) Property Theory: Legal and Political Perspectives (2018).

“Technological Tattletales and Constitutional Black Holes: Communications Intermediaries and Constitutional Constraints” (2016) 17 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 451.

“Towards a Public Law of Privacy: Meeting the Big Data Challenge” (2015) 71 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 527.

 Private Law and the Rule of Law (Oxford, 2014) (edited with Dennis Klimchuk)

“Enough About Me: Why Privacy is About Power, Not Consent (or Harm)” in Austin Sarat, ed., A World Without Privacy?: What Can/Should Law Do (Cambridge, 2014).

“Property and the Rule of Law” (2014) 20 Legal Theory 79.

“Possession and the Distractions of Philosophy” in J.E. Penner and Henry Smith, eds., Philosophical Foundations of Property Law (Oxford, 2013).

"Getting Past Privacy? Surveillance, the Charter, and the Rule of Law” (2013) 27 Canadian Journal of Law and Society 381-398

“Privacy and the Question of Technology” (2003) 22 Law & Philosophy 119.

Research areas
Charter of Rights
Legal Theory
National Security Law and Anti-Terrorism Law
Privacy Law
Property Law