The Other Side of Data Analytics: Risks to Privacy, Equity, and Control of Infrastructure

Wednesday, October 27 | 2:15PM–3:00PM ET
Viewing Location: Online
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: Facilitated Discussion
Data analytics is spreading fast on campus, affecting teaching, research, and campus life. From the most sophisticated big data-backed medical research to the most mundane dorm room swipe card, modern campuses generate vast amounts of raw data that can be processed in manifold ways. The narrative around data analytics has been largely defined by vendors, who advertise the possibilities and benefits. However, there has been limited discussion among institutional leaders of the potential risks of uncontrolled use of data analytics, including the harms from biased algorithms that perpetuate—or further deepen—systemic racism and other structural inequities. This interactive presentation will explore the ways that data analytics intersects with urgent issues, including equity, privacy, surveillance, anti-racism, and control of infrastructure. The presentation will begin with background, then dive into specific examples, drawing in audience ideas and specific case studies where possible. The session will conclude with a set of concrete recommendations and further resources that participants can take home to further explore the topic on campus. Documents distributed will include an in-depth landscape analysis and detailed solutions roadmap with recommended strategies produced by the nonprofit organization SPARC.


  • Nicole Allen

    Director of Open Education, SPARC Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition