Sarah Lamdan / Westlaw, Lexis, Elsevier, and SSRN Belong to Data Brokers. What Does That Mean for Professional Responsibility and Ethics? / 09.10.21

Sarah Lamdan is a professor at CUNY School of Law whose research focuses on information law and policy. She works on data justice projects across the spectrum from open government to personal privacy and researches and writes about information access, surveillance & privacy, and informational capitalism. She’s writing a book about data analytics companies called Data Cartels (Stanford University Press).

Talk: “Westlaw, Lexis, Elsevier, and SSRN Belong to Data Brokers. What Does That Mean for Professional Responsibility and Ethics?”

Abstract: Most of our gold-standard research platforms and services belong to just a few data analytics companies. These companies don’t just sell research products to libraries and lawyers, they also sell personal data to local, state, and federal law enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other entities that make big decisions about our civil rights. In this seminar, we’ll see how companies like RELX and Thomson Reuters (and now, ProQuest) have transitioned from being publishers to being companies that collect and sell personal data products. We’ll also talk about the professional responsibility and ethics issues that arise when lawyers and librarians use research products that are owned by companies that also sell personal information to law enforcement, landlords, healthcare providers, grant-funders — organizations and individuals that have a lot of power over our lives.

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