Information Justice, Human Rights, and Technology Ethics

Information Justice, Human Rights, and Technology Ethics

Supporting information and technology practices and policies that break down barriers.

Research Projects

Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure - Automated Personalization Computing Project

A Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) was made to change any devices’ interfaces for people who cannot use technologies due to barriers caused by their level of disability, literacy, and/or digital literacy.

RERC on Universal Interface and Information Technology Access

The Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) will be tested in libraries with a focus on serving users with disabilities. Also, a tool will be developed to help people find and use assistive technologies and access features in everyday technologies.

The Development of Ethical Cultures in Computer Security Research

Computer security researchers must navigate ethical dilemmas about how to use big data and shared networked resources to discover vulnerabilities; how to safely expose these problems; and how to best ensure that critical vulnerabilities are fixed.

Collaborative Research: Pervasive Data Ethics for Computational Research (PERVADE)

Increasingly pervasive data about people enables fundamentally new computational research. Simultaneously, changes in scale, scope, speed, and depth of data availability require reconsideration of ethics for computational research. Much work addressing ethics for big and pervasive data proceeds from first principles, applying traditional tenets of research ethics to computational data research.

Developing a Digital Asset Management System for the Archival Holdings of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

A $364K partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) to create a cutting-edge Digital Asset Management System to preserve and manage the digital assets of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.

AISL: Innovations in Development: Community-Driven Project That Adapt Technology for Environmental Learning in Nature Preserves

This project engages members of racially and economically diverse communities in identifying and carrying out environmental projects that are meaningful to their lives, and adapts technology known as NatureNet to assist them. NatureNet, which encompasses a cell phone app, a multi-user, touch-based tabletop display and a web-based community, was developed with prior NSF support.

CCE STEM: Standard: Collaborative: The Development of Ethical Cultures in Computer Security Research

Computer security researchers navigate ethical dilemmas about how to use big data and shared networked resources to discover vulnerabilities; how to safely expose vulnerabilities; and how to best ensure that vulnerabilities are fixed.

III: Small: DataWorld: Externalizing Hidden Data Flows for Anywhere Analytics

Understanding data from everyday life could help professionals, policymakers, and citizens make our society better, fairer, and more efficient. For example, imagine hunting for a house by walking through the neighborhood in which you want to live and discovering facts about the area from social media, census data, and nearby schools.

III:Small:Safely Searching Among Sensitive Content

Today's search engines are designed principally to help people find what they want to see. Paradoxically, the fact that search engines do this well means that there are many collections that can't be searched.

"There's a creepy guy on the other end at Google!": Engaging middle school students in a drawing activity to elicit their mental models of Google

Although youth are increasingly going online to fulfill their needs for information, many youth struggle with information and digital literacy skills, such as the abilities to conduct a search and assess the credibility of online information. In order to investigate youths’ conceptions of the Google search engine, a drawing activity was conducted with 26 HackHealth after-school program participants to elicit their mental models of Google.

Towards Identifying Values and Tensions in Designing a Historically-Sensitive Data Platform: A Case of Urban Renewal Documents

The urban renewal project was a national effort in the 1960s and 1970s to transform “blighted” neighborhoods into living spaces such as public housing and modern amenities with an emphasis on economic values.

Facilitating Health Information Disclosure Online through Privacy Protection

Patient openness to sharing data is critical for the success of big data in healthcare. However, there is a tension between privacy and disclosure.

ConnectedLib Open Access Publication

The article, titled “Using Technology to Support Equity and Inclusion in Youth Library Programming: Current Practices and Future Opportunities,” describes the findings of the first year of the three-year IMLS-funded ConnectedLib project.

Designing Technology to Increase Adoption of Healthy Behaviors in Men in the Context of Light Food Consumption

The general problem of rising obesity is widely understood as a health threat. Men participate in more risky behaviors which are deemed masculine, and are hesitant to adopt healthy behaviors which are deemed feminine.

Datafication of original records at the National Archives to expand the Global Journeys; Local Communities project’s records dataset

The Global Journeys; Local Communities Project identifies, digitizes, data files and indexes records documenting American citizens and their families who emigrated from the United States to live permanently abroad.

Ethical Sensitivity in Training Data Curation Among Machine Learning Engineers

As machine learning (ML) techniques have become sophisticated and pervasive, ethical concerns have followed. Recent headlines have declared “Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women,” “Google Photos labeled black people 'gorillas,'” and “U.S. charges Facebook with racial discrimination in targeted housing ads” (Dastin, 2018; Guyunn, 2015; Rana & Paul, 2019).

Piloting an Online National Collaborative Network for Integrating Computational Thinking into Library and Archival Education and Practice

This project focuses on participants who have a master's-level education in order to target the professional development of future practitioners across the nation.

CRII: CHS: Investigating Multilingual Teams Communication and Collaborative Writing

This project investigates new ways to create grounding in multilingual teams engaged in collaborative writing. It will improve understanding and develop new tools.

CRII: CHS: Investigating Multilingual Teams Communication and Collaborative Writing

This project investigates new ways to create grounding in multilingual teams engaged in collaborative writing. It will improve understanding and develop new tools.

CCE STEM: Finding Practices that Cultivate Ethical Computing in Mobile and Wearable Application Research & Development

This project will study academic and commercial software research and development (R&D) to discover factors that encourage discussion and action on ethical challenges.

Integrating Immigrants Into the LIS Workforce: A Pilot, Collaborative Project

REFORMA Mid-Atlantic Chapter and Prince George’s Public Library System on a one-year pilot project to introduce refugees and immigrants to the library professions through a self-paced mini-course.

 

Staff

Information Justice, Human Rights, and Technology Ethics News

A Tale of Two Identities: How Data Literacy Can Serve Underrepresented Student-Athletes in STEM

  • Examining how health and fitness data tracking tools can help athletes learn about data literacy, inspire STEM pursuits, and simultaneously train for their next game.

The Library's Role in Supporting Health Information Justice During COVID-19

  • Examining the current and future role of libraries in supporting communities.

Confidence in Institutions in a Time of Mistrust

  • UMD iSchool faculty discuss having confidence in government and institutions despite growing mistrust caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Digital Privacy News: Ease of Voice Recognition Technology Brings Great Risks, featuring Jessica Vitak

  • Technology creates additional convenience for users, it poses a threat to their privacy.

Brookings: Where Would Racial Progress in Policing be Without Camera Phones? featuring Nicol Turner Lee

  • Technology is becoming part of the story regarding how marginalized populations in the U.S.

Would you make a good Information Detective? Explaining the career of an Open Source Intelligence Professional, featuring Mary Ann Francis

  • Have you ever wondered about privacy and the data that operating systems, search engines, and social networks collect about you?

New Co-Principal Investigator Added to SFS Grant: Charles Harry

  • The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) grant is funded through the National Science Foundation to provide educational and professional development funding.

Two UMD iSchool Faculty Members Join FAS COVID-19 Task Force

  • The Federation of American Scientists has assembled teams of world-class experts to examine and advise on various facets of the COVID-19 Outbreak.