COVID-19 Update: The University has changed its events policy, please check with event organizers before attending on-campus events.

On Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Surveillance through Digital Library Tools

Sarah Lamdan, Professor of Law at CUNY and Immigrant Defense Project

Some of our library vendors are also selling peoples' data to law enforcement surveillance programs, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)'s invasive "big data" policing program. Companies like Thomson Reuters and RELX Group (formerly Reed Elsevier), are supplying billions of data points, bits of personal information, updated in real time, to police as they run our library products and resources. 

Putting surveillance companies under the same corporate umbrellas as our research products raises sticky ethical quandaries. How do we transition the ethics we apply to offline library collections, paper collections and library stacks, to our online research platforms? Can we ensure patron privacy and freedom to research when we rely on data analytics corporations to license digital content on their third-party platforms? These questions don't have easy answers in our current digital library systems.

In this conversation, we will explore how our vendors' practices conflict with library privacy and intellectual freedom standards, and consider how the relationship between our vendors and law enforcement agencies might impact our patrons and coworkers.



This webinar series is part of the launch of GSLIS' new Information Equity, Diverse Communities, and Critical Librarianship Track. For Spring 2021, the webinar series will feature Library and Information Science Scholars discussing contemporary conversations on race, gender, sexuality, class, and information equality.

Thursday, April 8 at 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Virtual Event
Event Type



College of Arts and Sciences, Harrington School of Communication and Media


Graduate School of Library and Information Studies
Contact Person

Dr. Melissa Villa-Nicholas

Contact Email

Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity

You're not going yet!

This event requires registration.