People

Lauren Kilgour

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Lauren Kilgour holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in information science from Cornell University. Additionally, she holds a master’s degree from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. Kilgour studies relationships among information technology, law, and society with a focus on investigating the social harms of data and technology and their roles in perpetuating stigma, shame, and social control. Her work employs qualitative research methods and builds upon literature from fields such as, sociology, science and technology studies, history, media studies, information science, law, and policy.

Her current book project is a critical study of electronic ankle monitors. Designed as an alternative to imprisonment, ankle monitors are both wearable networked technologies and part of complex criminal justice and law enforcement data service ecosystems. In this work, Kilgour critically explores how ankle monitors operate as carceral technologies and demonstrates how prejudicial notions of social difference are designed into ankle monitor hardware, software, and maintenance. More broadly, she is engaged in ongoing research projects examining histories and futures of surveillance technology, practices, and cultures and their impacts; uneven access to privacy; embodied artificial intelligence and machine learning; and the roles law and policy play in constructing personhood and social categories.

Kilgour’s core postdoctoral research project expands her study of criminal justice technologies to focus on police body cameras. Specifically, she is investigating the mixed record of success of body cameras for holding police officers accountable for their actions, particularly related to their use of deadly force and complying with wider codes of conduct. Through examining the design and use of police body cameras, and their footage, as socio-legal media artifacts, she seeks to shed light on the limitations of these devices as technologies of accountability. More broadly, she is engaged in ongoing research projects examining histories and futures of surveillance technology, practices, and cultures and their impacts; uneven access to privacy; embodied artificial intelligence and machine learning; and the roles law and policy play in constructing personhood, social categories.

Her research has been supported by a range of internal, external, and international funding bodies and academic organizations including, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Cornell University, Technische Universität Berlin (TU-Berlin), and the University of Toronto. Her research is published in international, peer-review venues such as The Information Society, Elder Law Journal, Records Management Journal, and public venues such as MIT Technology Review, and The New York Times.

In July 2022, joined the University of Waterloo‘s Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business as an Assistant Professor of Design and Technology.

Lauren’s personal website.