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Data Privacy & Social Justice

This is a guide with information about data privacy & social justice, with events and articles on the subject

Upcoming Events

Sarah Lamdan is a Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law who specializes in information law and policy across the spectrum from open government to personal privacy. She also has a master's degree in library science and legal information management. Along with teaching administrative law, data privacy, and freedom of information law, Sarah also works with open access and data privacy groups. She is a member of the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, was the 2022 Senior Fellow with SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and is a fellow at NYU Law School's Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy. Sarah's book, Data Cartels (Stanford University Press), analyzes the transition of publishers and electronic database providers to data analytics firms.


Professor Lamdan spoke at two OSU Library-sponsored events:

Monday, November 28th at noon: An introduction to the current state of data brokering by companies in the scholarly communication environment.  Learn how data being collected and repackaged for sale out of context, without permission and without safeguards is a problem we need to address.

Recording (ONID required) Data Privacy with Sarah Lamdan: General Session

Friday, December 2nd at 1PM: A session for students and faculty.  As Oregon State students and faculty, do you know how publishers use your access to articles to create a profile that they repackage and sell to government agencies and other interested third parties?  Join us for a discussion with Sarah Lamdan to learn how some publishers have shifted into data brokering.

Recording: Data Privacy with Sarah Lamdan: Student and Faculty Focus (ONID required)


Data Privacy in Academic Settings: From Learning Management Systems to campus security apparatuses, the technologies that ease student learning often collect student data. These sources discuss third-party educational platforms, publishers, and other ed-tech vendors that siphon student data, and some of the security concerns of each platform:

Data Collection/Aggregation & Academic Libraries


Educational Technologies

  • Shea Swauger's article about privacy concerns with algorithmic test proctoring.
  • Article in the Chronicles of Higher Education about privacy concerns in educational technology, and the expansion of educational tech use in remote learning environments.
  • Long-form article from the Chronicles of Higher Education about California State University's student success tracking program.

Learning Management Systems

  • Learning Management Systems seem to do the bulk of data mining in schools according to this blog post.
    • OSU started using Canvas in Winter 2015. A June 2020 article in EdSurge discusses the potential for data from Canvas to get absorbed into other algorithms, including those that determine credit scores.
  • This March 2020 article from the Association of Computing Machinery suggests that if LMS data is managed safely, students can benefit from some data-driven tools, including electronic tutoring platforms and setting data-driven benchmarks for professor intervention.

Security Concerns with Remote Learning

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation's guide to digital rights during COVID-19 poses larger questions about surveillance and remote work software. What surveillance technologies are necessary for public health, and will these tracing technologies be repurposed after transmission has slowed?
  • A March 2020 article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about Google's COVID-19 screening website Project Baseline. Project Baseline was initially a public-private partnership with the state of California. The site requires that people use their Google account to access the list of testing sites or COVID health information: Google has not been entirely clear about whether Project Baseline will save confidential health records with Google account information or allow third-party data collector access.


Adapted from the Pratt Institute Library Internet and Data Privacy Guide, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Licensing Privacy Project