Margaret McKay

Roles and responsibilities

I develop and lead R&D programs in the digital space and engage in research at the interface of digital technologies and society:

  • I developed and lead the NRC AI for Logistics Program, supporting the strategic objectives of Canada’s SCALE AI Global Innovation Cluster to enhance Canadian logistics and supply chain excellence through artificial intelligence.
  • I am developing the NRC Digital Privacy and Security Program focused on foundational and applied research and development in the areas of privacy preserving technologies and confidential computing; foundational cybersecurity; post-quantum safe solutions and quantum-safe communications; and related data and AI ethics and privacy challenges.

In addition to my administrative responsibilities, I provide insights, research, and advice in the areas of data and AI ethics, privacy, and cybersecurity.


Current research and/or projects

My current research and writing priories include:

  • Research data use policy and practice, open data, and privacy
  • Cybersecurity policy, particularly in relation to machine learning
  • Impacts of data analytics enabled third party predictions on concepts of foreseeability and “public availability”

Research and/or project statements

My work supports Government of Canada priorities with respect to the advancement of artificial intelligence and digital technologies for the benefit of Canada and Canadians.

My work also advances government priorities related to the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence and related data, reliability, and privacy considerations.


B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Sc. Biochemistry, McMaster University

J.D. University of Toronto


Registered patent agent and trade-mark agent - Canada

Registered patent agent - United States

Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada (IAPP)

Project Management Professional (PMI)

Key publications

McKay, M. H., & Richard, R. (2022). Efficiency of Algorithmic Policing Tools: a nod to C.N. Parkinson. Proceedings of the Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

McKay, M. H. (2022). AI Transparency in a Real-World Context: What we can learn from past examples of algorithmic and statistical decision-making. Proceedings of the Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Previous work experience

NRC various: Head, Corporate Secretariate, Values and Ethics; A/DG Planning and Reporting, Mgr Planning and Performance (IRAP); Patent & Trade-Mark Agent & IP Advisor.

Ridout & Maybee:  IP attorney

Margaret McKay

Program Leader, Digital Technologies
Digital Technologies
1200 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 613-991-6853


Information Technology, Digital technology, Intellectual Property, Copyrights, Patents, Sciences, Science Policy, Technology, Technology policy