Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen's University

Surveillance is intensifying and spreading throughout the world and the Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) is committed to high quality research to follow such developments. Founded at Queen's University at Kingston, and based there for 20 years until 2022, the SSC is now a Canada-wide virtual centre, affiliated to the international Surveillance Studies Network (SSN). The SSC also hosts Surveillance & Society, the online journal of the SSN.


The SSC is currently wapping up  on a five-year Big Data Surveillance project funded by a SSHRC Parnership Grant. This study is led by Emeritus Profess, David Lyon, with a team of five co-investigators, eleven collaborators, and ten national and international academic and non-academic partners from public policy and activism groups, as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Previous projects include The New Transparency Project, a seven-year Major Collaborative Research Initiative funded by SSHRC, involving colleagues from around the world, including other key nodes at the universities of Toronto, Alberta, and Victoria, plus the Open University in the UK. The SSC has also produced several reports on Wearables (2016-2017), Surveillance Drones (2013-2014), The Private Sector, National Security and Personal Data (2011-2012), SCAN (Surveillance Camera Awareness Network) (2008-2010) and Location Technologies (2005-2005) with funding support by the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) Contributions Program.

In alternate years, we mount a week-long Surveillance Studies Summer Seminar for graduate students. The next one will be in 2023.

Watch David Lyon discuss surveillance as social sorting

A video prepared for the American Sociological Association (Runs 5:20m)

Surveillance Studies has flourished at Queen’s since the early 1990s, and from 2000-2009 was carried out under The Surveillance Project banner. Details of our many publications may be found on this site, along with descriptions of current research projects. Although most of our work is university-based, we also partner with a number of other organizations including the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (Canada), the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and others concerned with data protection and civil society responses to expanding surveillance.



Coming soon


David Murakami Wood, Professor of Critical Surveillance & Security Studies, University of Ottawa

Director of the Surveillance Studies Centre

Alana Saulnier, Assistant Professor, Queen's University at Kingston

Deputy-director of the Surveillance Studies Centre