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Seminar: Pervasive data ethics: What researchers, IRBs, and end-users think about data collection and analysis practices.

  • Speaker: Dr. Jessica Vitak
  • College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
  • Date: Friday, Oct 18, 2019
  • Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Location: Room 214 (NVC)


Online services--including social media platforms, online shopping, search engines, and more-- generate rich and varied individual and aggregate behavioral data. These data are becoming easier to collect and analyze, and have led to explosive growth in big data research over the last decade. As more personal data moves online, however, it becomes increasingly important to consider what constitutes ethical and unethical research. In this talk, I will share research from PERVADE, an interdisciplinary collaboratory funded by the NSF to evaluate the ethical questions raised by pervasive data. Specifically, I'll share results from three survey studies of social computing researchers, institutional review boards, and end-users regarding their attitudes toward (un)ethical uses of pervasive data. For more information on PERVADE, see



Dr. Jessica Vitak is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland. She studies emerging challenges to consumer privacy and data ethics in the digital age. Currently, she is evaluating how consumers develop mental models about privacy and security when using new technologies, how to help people of all ages develop digital privacy knowledge and skills, and how to encourage researchers and tech developers to be more ethical in research and design. Read more about her research at