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Information Freedom, Ethics, and Integrity

Virtual Conference

About the Virtual Conference

There are the fair and appropriate activities that a society agrees upon for the use of that technology. How best to strike the correct balance between the various rights and entitlements? For the various stakeholders active in the information community, this is neither a frivolous nor a simple question. This virtual conference will touch upon such concerns as patron privacy, information security and the potential for manipulation in the digital environment.


Event Sessions

11:00 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. Welcome and Introduction


11:10 - 11:45 a.m. Privacy in the 21st Century: Why it matters now more than ever


Bill Marden

Director of Data Privacy and Compliance
New York Public Library

In this keynote address, Bill will talk about the changing world of data in libraries and the academic world at large.

In most libraries and research institutions, the original practice of data collection, storage, transmission and retrieval dates back to an analog era when the very terms “books”, “research”, “information”  and even “privacy” had vastly-different meanings and contexts than they do today.

How do we manage privacy in the modern research and public library: institutions born largely in the 19th century, which grew up in the 20th century, and that now need to survive and flourish in the 21st century?

We are institutions faced with a key challenge of how to provide an ever-expanding array of services and information and do so when they often come laden with privacy-related concerns never even imagined as recently as 25 years ago.

If, as New York Public Library President Tony Marx recently commented, “Libraries are universally-trusted resources that provide a safe harbor during difficult times,” how do such organizations protect and preserve the privacy and confidentiality of those seeking that safe harbor?

11:45 - 12:15 p.m. Data Collection and Privacy in Library and Learning Management Systems


Emily Lynema

Acting Department Head, Information Technology
North Carolina State University

This talk will provide an overview of the data that might be collected and analyzed from library and learning management systems, including the types of user data that could potentially be considered sensitive or confidential. It will frame the ethical questions around data privacy in the context of the growing movement toward learning analytics for student success in institutions of higher education. The talk will identify several different approaches to data collection and will highlight policy decisions that should be considered when planning a data analytics project.

This talk will emphasize concrete case studies from institutions that have collected and analyzed specific data from library or learning management systems to assist in assessment activities and to demonstrate the value of libraries within their broader community. These case studies demonstrate ways that libraries can work to leverage user data while simultaneously taking proactive steps to protect user privacy.

12:15 - 12:45 p.m. Privacy in the Context of Content Platforms and Discovery Tools


The recent highlighting of Facebook's data collection, processing, and release to third parties has raised concerns about how users are profiled by the actions they take on a platform. Could the same thing happen on content platforms and discovery tools? What does your patron's searching, browsing and reading history say about research they are conducting? This session covers the types of data commonly collected via content platforms and discovery tools and they kinds of analytics that might be applied to that data. This session also covers new responsibilities and requirements from the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and provides pointers to the depth of information available for publishers, service providers, and libraries.

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Lunch Break


1:45 - 2:15 p.m. Information Security and Library IT


The library IT department frequently interacts with both Central IT and industry providers regarding security concerns and problems. A range of issues can occur which impact access to systems and resources. The library must protect itself from security threats, and also has to maintain some level of protection for content providers while providing access to members of the community. Security and authentication are issues which need to be dealt with through the institution, the library IT department and industry providers. In this complex environment what are things we can do today to protect both libraries and content providers? What should we be doing today to better prepare for tomorrow?

2:15 - 2:45 p.m. The Right to be Forgotten and Digital Collections: Surveying Practice and Policy at ARL Member Institutions


In the spring of 2017, digital librarians at Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member institutions were surveyed on practices and policies surrounding takedown requests in openly accessible digital collections. The survey collected demographic information and also presented a series of hypothetical scenarios for respondents to consider and reflect upon. The survey received a 25.8% response rate, with many intriguing insights into how practitioners consider these type of requests. Survey findings and general background on the topic of the right to be forgotten will be presented, along with a discussion on future recommendations for work in this area.

2:45 - 3:15 p.m. Your Search Algorithm is Political


Safiya Noble

Assistant Professor and Author of Algorithms of Oppression.
University of Southern California

Artificial intelligence is a human rights issue in the 21st century. Data scientists and engineers work outside the context of the civil and human rights abuses that algorithms foster. STEM education provides little engagement with issues giving future developers tools or stake in these issues. In this talk, I provide evidence from my new book, Algorithms of Oppression  about Google Search, the way it misrepresents people and communities, and the harm that comes from these algorithmic practices – practices designed and implemented by humans. I underscore the role of search engines and other decision making systems of its ilk in contributing to oppression and racist marginalization. With artificial intelligence must come accountability.

3:15 - 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Break

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. Experiments in Digital Privacy Education


Clifford Anderson

Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning
Vanderbilt University

How can librarians effectively teach patrons about digital privacy? How does instruction about digital privacy fit within a scholarly communications program? In the fall 2017, the Vanderbilt University Library experimented with a three part series on digital privacy, covering the concepts of encrypting communications, browsing the web anonymously, and keeping operating systems secure. In his session, we will reflect on the success of the program, its limitations, and how we plan to refine our privacy outreach to students in the future.

4:00 - 4:30 p.m. Designing for Privacy


Developing rich and capable applications that respect user privacy requires special attention. We'll discuss technical privacy challenges in general and investigate one case in detail. Overall, the key to respecting privacy is prioritizing it as a requirement.

4:30 - 5:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion


Moderated by Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

Additional Information

  • Cancellations made by Wednesday, April 11, 2018 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.

  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the virtual conference via e-mail the Friday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions before the start of the webinar.

  • If you have not received your Login Instruction e-mail by 10 a.m. (ET) on the day before the virtual conference, please contact the NISO office at for immediate assistance.

  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the conference. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the conference from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.

  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact to provide alternate contact information.

  • Conference presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to this event webpage following the live conference.

  • Registrants will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived conference recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.

For Online Events

  • You will need a computer for the presentation and Q&A.

  • NISO uses the Zoom platform to deliver its virtual events.  Audio is available through the computer (broadcast) and by telephone. We recommend you have a set-up for telephone audio as back-up even if you plan to use the broadcast audio as the voice over Internet isn't always 100% reliable.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is properly set up before each webinar begins.