Specialization in Identity, Privacy & Security (IPS)

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The Identity, Privacy, and Security Initiative (IPSI) at the University of Toronto was established in 2007. Two interdisciplinary Master's-level programs were created, leading to either a Master of Engineering (MEng) from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), or a Master of Information (MI) degree from the Faculty of Information.

Identity, privacy, and security are closely related socio-technical issues of increasing importance in contemporary networked society. IPSI was established in order to create an interdisciplinary program of research, education, outreach, industry collaboration, and technology transfer around the complex interplay of these focal issues. Its goal is to develop new approaches to security and identification that maintain the privacy, freedom, and safety of the user and the broader community.

The IPS curriculum is intended mainly for students who want to take the Identity, Privacy, and Security specialization offered jointly by the Faculty of Information and ECE. Common seminars allow students from the participating faculties to work together in the classroom, and through team assignments.

Research areas include:

  • Biometrics
  • Cryptography
  • Data integrity
  • Digital identity
  • Digital rights management
  • Forensic data analysis
  • Information policy
  • Privacy-enhancing solutions
  • Security of universal access


Faculty of Information students wishing to pursue the IPS specialization must complete one of the MI program concentrations, the General Program Option or the Thesis Option, in addition to the IPS required courses.

IPS required courses:

  1. One course (0.5 FCE): JIE1001H  Seminar in Identity, Privacy and Security
  2. Two courses from the following list of iSchool courses (1.0 FCE):
    • INF2124H  Surveillance and Identity
    • INF2181H  Information Policy, Regulation, and Law – formerly Information Policy
    • INF2165H  Social Issues in Information and Communications Technologies
    • INF2241H  Critical Making: Information Studies, Social Values, and Physical Computing
  3. One course from the following list of ECE courses (0.5 FCE):
    • ECE568H Computer Security
    • ECE1517H  Biometric Systems
    • ECE1529H  Adaptive Systems for Signal Processing and Communications
    • ECE1547H  Content Based and Network Security
    • ECE1776H  Computer Security, Cryptography and Privacy
    • ECE1778H  Creative Applications for Mobile Devices

Please note that the Faculty of Information is currently reviewing this option.

Two year course sequence (PDF format):

Faculty of Information students should note that many of the ECE courses have pre-requisites and may be very difficult for students without a Computer Science or ECE background.

Please contact Prof. dimitrisatcomm [dot] utoronto [dot] ca (Dimitrios Hatzinakos), Director of the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute, if you have any questions about any ECE courses.