Technology in Society
Dec 05, 2022 12:00 PM
Dr. Tom Keenan
Technology in Society

As a member of the Government of Canada’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Smart Communities, Thomas was exposed to how the “best and brightest” thinkers were shaping the use of technology to improve our individual and collective lives.   That program granted $60M to twelve projects across Canada, some of which have become icons for the intelligent application of technological tools.  Thomas continues as an active participant in the activities of the New York City-based Intelligent Community Forum, helping to adjudicate the Smart Community of the Year competition, and also write and consult in this area.

A lifelong interest in information security has resulted in my teaching Canada’s first course in Computer Security (in 1974!) as well as the creation of a CBC Ideas series called Crimes of the Future which predicted future problems such as identity theft and biocrimes such as “organlegging.”  This program won the Canadian Science Writers Award in 1984.   Thomas does regular technical and non-technical analysis in this field and have collaborated with law enforcement, law firms, individuals and corporations on urgent issues such as identity theft, cyberstalking, information warfare and privacy issues.   Thomas was qualified as an expert witness in 2004 in “computer forensics and the workings of the Internet” by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.    Thomas also spent some fascinating time with Canadian Forces Bravo Company in Afghanistan.

In addition to scholarly publications and conferences, Thomas is a regular columnist for the Calgary Herald and other Canwest newspapers, as well as the Business Edge News Magazine, where Thomas served as National Technology Correspondent.  Thomas appears regularly on radio and television discussing high tech issues, and serves on boards including the Information Technology Council of Canada, the Rotary Club of Calgary, and the Canadian Voice Care Foundation.

Thomas’s current research focuses on the positive and negative effects of technology adoption both in the developed and developing worlds, and how technology can be a driver for economic and social development.   Thomas hasdeveloped the concepts of “Internet Persistence” and “Silent Information” in recent book chapters, and continue to work to help us define the ever-changing line between the useful sharing of information and the (sometimes unforeseen and self-inflicted) invasion of our privacy.

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