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Of course we can … but should we?

Big Data: it’s big, messy, and fast-paced: and demand is endless for more data capture, more intertwingling of sources, more slicing, dicing, massaging, and filtering to reveal insights. These demands can result in uses perceived as mostly helpful (The year open data went worldwide) or mostly icky (How Companies Learn Your Secrets). Demand for new uses span UCLA – from accreditation to governmental review to instructional enhancement – making it crucial to assure the campus is acting with credibility and trust with respect to data about its faculty, students, and staff, regardless of domain.

A consistent set of expectations aligned with our culture, values, and expectations – transparency, shared governance, openness, academic freedom, public service, diversity, and accessibility to name a mouthful – form a basis for thinking about ethical and appropriate use. This is especially important when partnering with an external third party entity, as we increasingly do, to enclose “our” data in a bubblewrap of these expectations so that we don’t lose a voice in its use. We know how to write contracts about obligations, whether security or breach response or ownership of intellectual property; but extending values to the wider world is another matter.

Recommendations for a campus structure for big data governance and principles by which to consider proposed uses is the charge of the joint Academic Senate – Administration UCLA Data Governance Task Force (pretend there is a “big” right before “data”). Check back in March 2015 for emerging results.

PS. A very cool idea by Deborah Estrin for turning a “harm” into a “good”: What happens when each patient becomes their own “universe” of unique medical data?

Joanne McNabb giving keynote at MMWCON

Mobile recommendations from CA Attorney GeneralI’m so pleased that Joanne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education and Policy in the Office of the California Attorney General, will be speaking at the Mobility and Modern Web Conference (MMWCON), being held September 17–19 at UCLA.

Formerly the Head of the California Office of Privacy Protection, Joanne has been a terrific privacy resource to me and many, many others over the years. She continues in her current role to push California’s trajectory in leading the nation in privacy, aligned with AG Kamala Harris’ focus on privacy issues (e.g., mobile apps, privacy policies, new privacy unit).

Distinguishing privacy from security … and why you want both

Security fenceHere’s the best visual sound bite I’ve ever seen on privacy and security, simultaneously depicting how they differ and why you want both. Kudos to cartoonist Clay Bennett. (And my personal thanks to Jon Good for pointing me at this.)

A University of California privacy and information security framework

UC Privacy and Information Security Steering Committee Report to the President - cover pageIn June of 2010, former UC President Mark Yudof convened the University of California Privacy and Information Security Steering Committee to perform a comprehensive review of the University’s current privacy and information security policy framework and to make recommendations about how the University should address near-term policy issues and longer-term governance issues related to privacy and information security.

The full Steering Committee report has now been posted, as is an executive summary. President Yudof’s response letter should also be read to get the full context.

I’m really, really proud of how this turned out, the result of many stellar people’s hard work. It’s particularly rewarding to see that implementation efforts are underway, with each campus designating a privacy official as a first step. (That would be me for UCLA, though my designation came before the report’s completion). Beyond UC, the definitional diagram may be the enduring part of this whole effort. (I have previously used a variant of this diagram that includes an additional label, IT security.)

(Just in, this op-ed by Tracy Mitrano in Inside Higher Ed: So Goes California.)

A Symposium on Privacy and Security: UCLA Joins the National Debate

UCLA Symposium sponsors poster - thumbnail jpgUCLA Symposium flyer - thumbnail jpgOn April 25, 2014, the UCLA School of Law, Department of Political Science, and Office of Information Technology cosponsored the daylong Symposium on Privacy and Security (#uclaprivacysym). Bringing together three panels of thought leaders to discuss privacy, security, terrorism, and civil liberties, the event was the brainchild of Cindy Lebow in PoliSci. The terrific and apt artwork are the creations of Kelly Arruda.

Here are the program and the speaker bios.

Video from the event is available through this YouTube playlist. Individual video segments and non-streaming mp3 audio files are also available (audio files available on a pilot basis at this time):

Opening remarks Jeffrey Lewis, Jim Davis video audio
What is privacy and does it matter any more? Panel 1: Kent Wada, Adam Moore, Bruce Fein, Julia Angwin video audio
Can we be safe without sacrificing civil liberties? Keynote: Cindy Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation video audio
Defining the threat, fighting terrorism Panel 2: Cynthia C. Lebow, Henry Willis, Mike German video audio
War and Liberty – Civil liberties in perilous times Panel 3: Katherine Stern, Chris Edelson, Salam Al-Marayati video audio

Terms and Conditions May Apply

Terms and Conditions May ApplyThe UCLA community now has free streaming access to the documentary film Terms and Conditions May Apply. Whether or not you agree with its viewpoint, the film is worth an hour of your time. Hope to spur discussion of these fundamental societal issues at UCLA.

Watch the film with your UCLA Logon ID. If you don’t have a UCLA Logon ID, TACMA is available through Netflix (as of May 1, 2014) or through Vimeo on demand for $3.99.

Scholarly research and California Public Records Act requests

UCLA has published its Statement on the Principles of Scholarly Research and Public Records Requests and accompanying Faculty Resource Guide for California Public Records Requests.

Chancellor Block’s announcement sets the context for issuing this guidance:

“In recent years a number of universities including UCLA have received public records requests seeking disclosure of faculty members’ scholarly communications. The potential chilling effect of these requests has raised new questions about academic freedom and its intersection with public institutions’ legal obligations to conduct business transparently.”

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