In Memorial: Richard Rosenberg (1939-2019)

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Dr. Richard Rosenberg, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Computer Science of UBC, former President of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, and lifelong advocate for privacy rights.

Below are messages about Richard from FIPA’s President, Mike Larsen, and former Executive Directors, Darrell Evans and Vincent Gogolek.

Mike Larsen:

Richard’s involvement with FIPA dates back to 1998, when he joined the Board of Advisors and sat on our Legislation and Policy Committee. He was elected President of the Board of Directors in 2005, and he served in that role for ten years. This was a time of enormous transformation in the information and privacy rights field, and Richard provided leadership and guidance as FIPA dealt with the expansion of state and private sector surveillance, government efforts to circumvent transparency laws, and the privacy implications of an increasingly interconnected world. Richard’s professional expertise in computer science was always accompanied by a passionate concern for ethics and the impact of technology on civil liberties.  

In 2017, Richard received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BC Civil Liberties Association, in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of privacy rights, both Canada and internationally.

I will remember Richard as a kind, funny, and thoughtful person, an outstanding leader, and a strong advocate whose approach to emerging issues was always guided by a commitment to privacy as a cornerstone of civil liberties.

Richard will be deeply missed by all of us at FIPA, and his energy and inspiration will continue to inform our work to protect and advance information and privacy rights.

Mike Larsen
President, BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

Darrell Evans:

Richard Rosenberg was a man of great intelligence, sensitivity, loyalty and compassion. But I would emphasize compassion above all. 

He was a passionate teacher and a joy to work with on freedom of information and privacy issues. I had the great fortune to work with him for over 15 years, and I am proud to claim him as a friend and colleague. 

Richard must have had his faults, but through all those years, I witnessed very few. Thinking of him now, I feel a note of purity that is really rare. I hope his family’s grief is softened by a similar memory.

Darrell Evans, Founder and Executive Director (Retired), BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

Vincent Gogolek:

It was my pleasure and privilege to serve as Executive Director during Richard Rosenberg’s tenure as FIPA’s President. During that time, we faced many challenges both for the Association and for society as a whole. Richard’s excellent leadership, fine judgement and vast knowledge were an anchor for myself and for FIPA, and his constant hard work and devotion to making this province, this country, and the world a better place were an inspiration.

We have lost a very special person, but Richard is, and will continue to be, a beacon for all of us who continue the journey toward better information rights.

Vincent Gogolek
Executive Director (Retired), BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association