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CIPR Research Lunch on “Libraries Promoting Peace” with Peter Lor

Aug 24, 2016   //   by cipradmin   //   Events, News  //  Comments Off on CIPR Research Lunch on “Libraries Promoting Peace” with Peter Lor

Please join us for a CIPR Research Lunch on Sept 7, 2016, featuring Dr. Peter Lor

cipr-lor-header copy
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
NWQB 3511

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.

Studio portrait of School of Information Studies faculty member Peter Lor.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.

CIPR Welcomes Dr. Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda

Jul 20, 2016   //   by cipradmin   //   News  //  Comments Off on CIPR Welcomes Dr. Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda

Kinder-KurlandaCIPR is pleased to welcome Dr. Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda, from the GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, as a visiting scholar during July 2016.

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.


Zimmer Participates in White House/NYU Event on Artificial Intelligence

Jul 13, 2016   //   by cipradmin   //   News  //  Comments Off on Zimmer Participates in White House/NYU Event on Artificial Intelligence

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 InstituteAI 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.

Zimmer Discusses OkCupid Data Release and Ethics of Big Data Research

May 31, 2016   //   by cipradmin   //   News  //  Comments Off on Zimmer Discusses OkCupid Data Release and Ethics of Big Data Research

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.

Choose Privacy Week 2016 Webinar: Raising Privacy Awareness in Your Library and in Your Community

Mar 24, 2016   //   by cipradmin   //   Events, News  //  Comments Off on Choose Privacy Week 2016 Webinar: Raising Privacy Awareness in Your Library and in Your Community

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 ALA_ChoosePrivacy_186x292-2016Byour 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.

Zimmer joins NISO-RDA Working Group on Privacy Implications of Research Data Sets

Feb 11, 2016   //   by cipradmin   //   News  //  Comments Off on Zimmer joins NISO-RDA Working Group on Privacy Implications of Research Data Sets

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 Wins 2015 WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award

Mar 20, 2015   //   by cipradmin   //   News  //  Comments Off on Marti Koller Wins 2015 WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award

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.

Zimmer joins NISO Project on Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems

Mar 18, 2015   //   by cipradmin   //   News  //  Comments Off on Zimmer joins NISO Project on Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems

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.

Preliminary Assessment of Proposed Wisconsin State Budget on Libraries and Information Services

Feb 12, 2015   //   by cipradmin   //   News  //  Comments Off on Preliminary Assessment of Proposed Wisconsin State Budget on Libraries and Information Services

The recently announced 2015-2017 Wisconsin state budget proposal has received considerable attention for is potential impact on the University of Wisconsin System. Among the other entities impacted by the proposed budget is the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the state agency that advances public education and libraries in Wisconsin. 

The Center for Information Policy Research contacted John DeBacher, Director of Public Library Development at the DPI, asking if there was any internal assessment of how the proposed state budget might impact library and information services in Wisconsin. In response, we were provided a preliminary budget summary document,  adapted from information provided to the Wisconsin Library Association’s Library Development and Legislation Committee (LD&L).

We are sharing this preliminary assessment from the DPI below for informational purposes.

PrelimBudgetSummary2016 LibrariesPreliminary Assessment of Proposed Wisconsin State Budget on Libraries and…

Choose Privacy Week 2015 with Neil Richards: Intellectual Privacy

Jan 23, 2015   //   by cipradmin   //   Events, News  //  Comments Off on Choose Privacy Week 2015 with Neil Richards: Intellectual Privacy

The UW-Milwaukee Center for Information Policy Research is excited to welcome Prof. Neil Richards for a talk about his new book Intellectual Privacy in celebration of Choose Privacy Week, the annual initiative of the American Library Association that invites the public into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age.

Richards_Intellectual_PrivacyChoose Privacy Week 2015 with Prof. Neil Richards
“Intellectual Privacy”

Monday, May 4, 2015

Alumni Fireside Lounge
UW-Milwaukee Student Union
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee WI 53211

About Intellectual Privacy:

Most people believe that the right to privacy is inherently at odds with the right to free speech. Courts all over the world have struggled with how to reconcile the problems of media gossip with our commitment to free and open public debate for over a century. The rise of the Internet has made this problem more urgent. We live in an age of corporate and government surveillance of our lives. And our free speech culture has created an anything-goes environment on the web, where offensive and hurtful speech about others is rife. (More…)

Neil Richards is an internationally-recognized expert in privacy law, information law, and freedom of expression. He is a professor of law at Washington University School of Law, a member of the Advisory Board of the Future of Privacy Forum, and a consultant and expert in privacy cases. He graduated in 1997 from the University of Virginia School of Law, and served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. His first book, Intellectual Privacy, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

The Center for Information Policy has been a proud supporter of Choose Privacy Week since its inception in 2010. Past events have included a panel discussion on “Emerging Privacy and Ethical Challenges for Libraries in the 2.0 Era” (2010), participation in an ALA webinar on “Youth Privacy” (2011), the screening of the documentary “Big Brother, Big Business: The Data-Mining and Surveillance Industries” (2012), and hosting a talk by Dr. Kelly Gates on “The Computational Work of Policing” (2013).