Journal of Intellectual Freedom & Privacy incorporates many of the features of the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom. Readers will still read in each issue about the latest incidents of book banning in “censorship dateline,” the latest court rulings in “from the bench,” legal controversies in “is it legal?” and, of course, “success stories.” New ALA intellectual freedom policies and reports to the ALA Council from the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Freedom to Read Foundation will also continue to appear.
CIPR director Michael Zimmer has been awarded an NSF EAGER (EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) grant to pursue a research collaboration with Dr. Jessica Vitak (University of Maryland) and Drs. Jason Pridmore and Daniel Trottier (Erasmus University) on “Mapping Privacy and Surveillance Dynamics in Emerging Mobile Ecosystems: Practices and Contexts in the Netherlands and US“. Each of the institutions has won a separate research award for the collaboration.
From the award abstract:
The increasing ubiquity of mobile technologies creates unique privacy and surveillance challenges for users. These problems are global, but the way users, organizations, and governments approach these challenges varies based on cultural norms around privacy. This cross-cultural project evaluates how mobile users in the U.S. and the Netherlands think about and make decisions about their privacy when using mobile apps. The project’s primary goal is to inform both ways of thinking about privacy in the digital age and practical implementations that pertain to the digital self, with an emphasis on tensions between privacy, disclosure, mobility and surveillance. Furthermore, this study highlights privacy practices across different legal and cultural frameworks, providing important implications for broad-based policy decisions.
In collaboration with researchers at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, this project has three phases. Phase 1 develops a preliminary understanding of privacy awareness and practices across three emerging mobile ecosystems: health and fitness tracking (e.g., Fitbit), mobile messaging apps (e.g., Whatsapp), and intelligent digital personal assistants (e.g., Siri). Building on these findings, Phase 2 involves cross-cultural data collection and analysis using “privacy vignettes,” which allows for identification and comparison of individuals’ privacy norms across contexts and cultures. Phase 3 focuses on dissemination of findings to key stakeholders and policymakers, and building an international working group of researchers active in this space. The focus on unpacking how privacy is conceptualized and implemented across two countries with very different cultural conceptions of privacy expands our understanding of the contextual nature of mobile privacy—enabling an extension of Helen Nissenbaum’s work on privacy as contextual integrity—while also providing practical implications for researchers and designers employing a Privacy by Design framework.
This collaborative research grant was awarded from a joint call for proposals by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), seeking collaborations between US- and Netherlands-based researchers on research topics that fit the privacy research goals of NSF’s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program. Only 5 awards were jointly made by both NSF and NWO.
Please join us for a CIPR Research Lunch on Sept 7, 2016, featuring Dr. Peter Lor
Libraries Promoting Peace: Cherished Illusion or Opportunity for Action?
Dr. Peter Lor
Adjunct Professor, School of Information Studies, UW-Milwaukee
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
12:00 – 1:30pm
2025 E Newport Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Please bring your own lunch.
Refreshments and dessert will be provided by SOIS
It has long been assumed that libraries contribute to promoting peace. In the late 1940s the then newly established UNESCO made a big investment in developing public libraries worldwide on the basis of this assumption, which has a long history and still resonates with librarians today. After all, we provide information about “other” nations, communities, groups, beliefs, and orientations. Information is assumed to contribute to knowledge, understanding, tolerance, and peace. This is a long string of causal assumptions. It should be challenged.
In this presentation Peter Lor briefly examines the assumptions and what is meant by “promoting peace” before outlining a set of seven roles for librarians: informing, creating resources, promoting, educating, empowering, healing and advocating, with some illustrative examples of current library activities in various parts of the world.
About Peter Lor:
Dr. Peter Lor is former National Librarian of South Africa and later Secretary General of IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. During 2009-2011 he was a visiting professor at SOIS. Dr. Lor is currently an Extraordinary Professor at the University of South Africa, and also teaches INFOST 891, International and Comparative Librarianship, as an adjunct professor for SOIS.
Dr. Kinder-Kurlanda has been a postdoc researcher and head of the Secure Data Center at GESIS since 2012. Since 2016 she leads the newly formed team ‘Data Linking & Data Security’. Katharina received her Magistra Artium in cultural anthropology, computer science and history from Johann Wolfgang Goethe – University Frankfurt am Main in 2004 with a thesis on “Playing and programming computer games: Spiel als kulturelle Praxis”. From 2005 she had a PhD studentship in the EPSRC-funded interdisciplinary research and development project NEMO (Networked Embedded Models of Physical Work Activity) at Lancaster University in the UK, where she completed her PhD in 2009 with a thesis on ubiquitous computing. She then worked as a Postdoc Research Associate in the Department of Management Science at Lancaster University Management School, researching the Internet of Things within organizational contexts. Katharina currently teaches a course on Social Science Methodology in Web Science Research at the Institute for Web Science and Technologies at Koblenz University where she is an adjunct lecturer.
While visiting CIPR, Dr. Kinder-Kurlanda will be collaborating with CIPR Director Dr. Michael Zimmer on their edited book, “Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Cases and Challenges”, and related research projects focused on the ethics of big data research.
CIPR Director Michael Zimmer was an invited participant in a major public symposium on July 7, 2016, to address the near-term impacts of artificial intelligence technologies across social and economic systems. Hosted by The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and New York University’s Information Law Institute, AI Now: The Social and Economic Implications of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Near-Term focused on the challenges of the next five to 10 years, specifically addressing four themes: how AI will impact social inequality, labor, healthcare, and ethics. Leaders from industry, academia, and civil society shared ideas for technical design, research, and policy directions. The event sought to amplify the voices of those with significant insight and experience across the four areas, with the goal of building new bridges across different communities. Collectively, the group considered the potential benefits and challenges of AI technologies, and analyzed how to ensure AI is built for equality of opportunity.
A group of Danish researchers, led by Aarhus University graduate student Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, recently publicly released a dataset of nearly 70,000 users of the online dating site OkCupid, including usernames, age, gender, location, what kind of relationship (or sex) they’re interested in, personality traits, and answers to thousands of profiling questions used by the site.
When asked whether the researchers attempted to anonymize the dataset, Kirkegaard replied bluntly: “No. Data is already public.” This sentiment is repeated in the accompanying draft paper, “The OKCupid dataset: A very large public dataset of dating site users,” posted to the online peer-review forums of Open Differential Psychology, an open-access online journal also run by Kirkegaard:
Some may object to the ethics of gathering and releasing this data. However, all the data found in the dataset are or were already publicly available, so releasing this dataset merely presents it in a more useful form.
To those concerned about privacy, research ethics, and the growing practice of publicly releasing large data sets, this logic of “but the data is already public” is an all-too-familiar refrain used to gloss over thorny ethical concerns,.
In response to this problematic data release, CIPR director Michael Zimmer published an editorial in Wired: “OkCupid Study Reveals the Perils Of Big-Data Science” (Wired, May 14, 2016). He states, in part:
The OkCupid data release reminds us that the ethical, research, and regulatory communities must work together to find consensus and minimize harm. We must address the conceptual muddles present in big data research. We must reframe the inherent ethical dilemmas in these projects. We must expand educational and outreach efforts. And we must continue to develop policy guidance focused on the unique challenges of big data studies. That is the only way can ensure innovative research—like the kind Kirkegaard hopes to pursue—can take place while protecting the rights of people an the ethical integrity of research broadly.
Zimmer also appeared on the WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio show Lake Effect to discuss “Big Data Research Creates Ethical Concerns”, noting that:
So when a researcher like this says, ‘Well this stuff was already public,’ what he kind of really means is like, ‘This stuff was visible to other users who happen to also create a profile,’ and those aren’t the same thing,” says Zimmer. “Psychologically I think it’s important for users when they sign up for this thing to have this assumption, or these set of expectations, that I know this data is kind of public but it’s meant for this community… Doing this kind of research sometimes violates that assumption.
CIPR director Michael Zimmer will be contributing to an American Library Association (ALA) webinar on “Raising Privacy Awareness in Your Library and in Your Community” in preparation for Choose Privacy Week (May 1-7, 2016).
From the ALA’s announcement:
Is your library preparing to observe Choose Privacy Week 2016? Join the ALA’s IFC Privacy Subcommittee and the Office for Intellectual Freedom for a free webinar that will offer solid guidance on developing privacy programming that will educate and engage your library users and provide an update on current privacy issues confronting libraries today.
The webinar will also offer brief introductions to resources on students’ and minors’ privacy and a guide to free and low-cost print and online resources that can support your library’s observance of Choose Privacy Week. Online registration is available via this link: http://ow.ly/ZbbOW
Choose Privacy Week is the American Library Association’s annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights. Choose Privacy Week, May 1 – 7, 2016, also celebrates libraries and librarians’ unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole. For more information on Choose Privacy Week, visit https://chooseprivacyweek.org.
CIPR Director Michael Zimmer has been named a co-chair of the RDA/NISO Privacy Implications of Research Data Sets Working Group, a joint NISO and Research Data Alliance project, focusing on the privacy implications of shared research data. Zimmer will be joining Todd Carpenter (NISO) and Bonnie Tijerina as co-chairs leading this effort.
The working group will explore issues related to scientific research data sets that contains human subject information, as well as related datasets that have the potential to be combined in a way that can expose private information. The goal of the group is to develop a framework for how researchers and repositories should appropriately manage human-subject datasets, to develop a metadata set to describe the privacy-related aspects of research datasets, and to build awareness of the privacy implications of research data sharing. While privacy is related to the ethical, legal and data publishing issues surrounding data management of which privacy is a part, this working group is focused specifically on privacy-related concerns.
The group will focus on world-wide legal frameworks and the impacts these frameworks have on data sharing, especially with human-subject data. After gathering these legal strictures and comparing the differences and similarities, the group will begin crafting a set of principles that will provide guidance to the researcher and repository communities on how to manage these data when they are received. Building on these, the group will craft a set of use cases on how the principles will be applied. After these elements are completed, an effort to advance the principles through promotion and community outreach will be developed and executed.
The group has released a case statement that is open for comment.
Marti Koller, English Department Chair at the Baldwin-Woodville High School in northeastern Wisconsin, has been named the winner of the 2015 WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award. The award is given jointly by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA).
A long-time advocate of intellectual freedom, Koller has battled censorship and educated students about the principles of intellectual freedom and first amendment rights. In her work as a classroom teacher she has incorporated awareness of free speech, censorship, and intellectual freedom into the curriculum to inform and empower students on their academic journeys and beyond into their adult lives. Koller has resisted efforts to restrict content and materials, as well as holding administration accountable for following school board policy in formal reconsideration of materials both in her classes and in others.
The authors of the nomination letter recommending Koller wrote “on multiple occasions, she has lead a charge to protect the shelves at Baldwin-Woodville High School. She has defended not only content in our district, but also the proper process of challenges” and “she has pioneered a focus on censorship issues in each of her classes…her leadership has been essential in the growth of staff, students, and community.” Furthermore, “as a result [of her efforts] I believe there is increased reluctance by school officials to circumvent the established process and arbitrarily remove or restrict materials.”
Koller will be honored at the WEMTA Awards Luncheon on Monday, March 23, 2015 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Recognition will also be given during the WLA Conference in the Fall, 2015.
Since 2010, WLA and WEMTA have collaborated to give the annual intellectual freedom award. This award recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin. Funding for the award is generously provided by TeachingBooks.net and the Center for Information Policy Research at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO), a non-profit standards organization that develops, maintains and publishes technical standards related to publishing, bibliographic and library applications, has been awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a Consensus Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems. The grant will support a series of community discussions on how libraries, publishers, and information systems providers can build better privacy protection into their operations. The grant will also support creation of a draft framework to support patron privacy and subsequent publicity of the draft prior to its advancement for approval as a NISO Recommended Practice.
In support of the project, NISO has convened a steering committee of practitioners, consultants, and advocates dedicated to supporting patron privacy. CIPR director Michael Zimmer has accepted an invitation to join the steering committee, and will contribute to project’s three phases.
The first will be a pre-meeting discussion phase, which will consist of four virtual forums to discuss privacy of internal library systems, privacy of publisher systems, privacy of provider systems, and legal aspects influencing data sharing and policies. Each of the discussion sessions will be a three-hour web-based session designed to lay the groundwork for a productive in-person meeting at the conclusion of the American Library Association meeting in San Francisco, CA in June 2015. Following the in-person meeting, a Framework document will be completed detailing the privacy principles and recommendations agreed to by the participants, and then circulated for public comment and finalization.
Additional information is available at the NISO website.