Who Controls the Past Now Controls the Future: Counter-Terrorism, Data Mining and Privacy

  • Wayne N Renke Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta


Recent world events have created international security concerns and a demand for counter-terrorist measures. Information fuels counter-terrorism. "Data mining" has been touted as a means for acquiring needed information. This article describes data mining, explores its social, political and personal risks, then assesses its impact on the Charter-protected right to privacy. The author proposes a framework for the constitutionally appropriate regulation of data mining. Data mining is portrayed as a potentially valuable counter-terrorism tool which must be governed responsibly, if its costs are not to exceed its benefits.