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CIPR Director: Michael Zimmer, Ph.D.


Michael Zimmer, PhD, is a privacy and internet ethics scholar, most notable for his work in online privacy, the ethical dimensions of social media & internet technologies, libraries & privacy, and internet research ethics. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also serves as Director of the Center for Information Policy Research.

Zimmer received his PhD in 2007 from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He was a Student Fellow at the Information Law Institute at NYU Law from 2004-2007, and was the Microsoft Resident Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School for 2007-2008, and remains an Affiliated Fellow. Zimmer joined UW-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies in 2008.

Zimmer’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the American Library Association. He has published in numerous international academic journals and books, and has delivered talks across North America, Europe, and Asia. He has written for WiredThe Washington Post, and The Huffington Post, and has been a guest on National Public Radio‘s Morning EditionScience Friday, and Here & Now news programs. Zimmer has appeared in news articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalThe Chronicle of Higher EducationMSNBC.comCNN.comGQ Magazine, and various other national and local media outlets.

In 2013, Zimmer launched “The Zuckerberg Files”, a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. The project has received widespread media attention and has been utilized by numerous researchers.

Zimmer is editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacypublished by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. He also serves on the editorial advisory boards of Internet Research, the Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, and the International Review of Information Ethics. As co-editor of The Information Society book series for MIT Press, Zimmer has overseen the publication of numerous academic titles by leading scholars.

He has participated in numerous public interest activities and provided expert advice and consultation for Google, Microsoft, the American Library Association’s Office For Intellectual Freedom, the New York Public Library, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and other organizations. Zimmer serves on numerous advisory boards, including the Washington, D.C.-based Future of Privacy Forum think tank and the NSF-sponsored Values-in-Design Council, and served on the executive committee of the Association of Internet Researchers from 2009-2015.

Zimmer was also featured in the “Is My Cellphone Spying on Me?” commentary accompanying the 2-disc special edition DVD for the hit action/thriller movie Eagle Eye.


Research Assistants:

Zuckerberg Files student assistantsCurrent assistants on CIPR-related projects include:

Past assistants have included:

  • David Bloom
  • Gage Driscoll
  • Sam Goerke
  • Anna Lauren Hoffmann
  • Anna Jeffries
  • Jeremy Mauger
  • Nicholas Proferes