About me

My name is Yuan (you-anne). I hold a B.C.L./LL.B (JD) from McGill University. A friend recently called me a “scholar with a twist.” I do social science and legal research on privacy, hackers, technology, and normative systems. I work in the fields of law, policy, and academia. I’m currently a lawyer-in-training with Mark Phillips, a progressive sole practitioner based in Montreal who specializes in non-profit, charity & small business law, privacy & access to information law, and general civil law.

a fancy photo of my face
Photo by Tala Azar Strauss.

I am a research affiliate with Data & Society Research Institute. Data & Society is funding a research project I am doing with Prof. Ryan Ellis (Northeastern University, Boston) on the cultural logics of bug bounty programs. We’re examining hackers’ experiences with crowdsourced vulnerability disclosure. The project is also being funded by the National Science Foundation.

I worked as a research assistant for hacker expert Gabriella Coleman for the majority of my studies in law at McGill University. I recently co-authored a report on AI and criminal justice with Benoît Dupont, Hannes Westermann, and Michael Joyce, which was published in late 2019. In 2018, I contributed research to AfterMeToo, a project supported by the Canadian Women’s Foundation that offers an online hub of support called Rosa for people who have experienced workplace sexual violence.

I serve on the board of directors for Open Privacy Research Institute and Head & Hands / À Deux Mains. I previously worked at the European Center for Constitutional & Human Rights, the Centre for Internet & Human Rights in Berlin, and at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

I am co-curating a digital zine called <3 love online</3, which empowers queer people and/or people of colour with a connection to Montreal to muse about the impact of the internet on modern-day romance, sex and love; I am currently teaching myself how to hack web applications; I have been known to host salon events where people in my circles share about the projects they’re working on as an act of radical community-building.

In a past life, I was classically trained musician and pianist. I studied critical pedagogy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto. I still make music, and I still love to teach. As a queer person of colour who grew up in foster care in Ontario after surviving sexual abuse, I am a rarity in the fields of tech, policy and law and bring these experiences to all that I do. A short bio can be found online here.