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Tuesday, August 10, 2021 News

Sarah Lamdan, Expert on Library Vendors’ Surveillance Activities, Joins SPARC as Senior Fellow

Open Access   ·   Open Data   ·   Open Education

SPARC is pleased to welcome Sarah Lamdan as a Senior Fellow. Lamdan, who is a Professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law, is a leading expert on the evolution of library vendors into surveillance and data brokering activities, and her analysis has been deeply informative to SPARC’s emerging work in this area. Her forthcoming book, Data Cartels, will be published by Stanford University Press next year.

“I am thrilled to be working with SPARC and its member community,” Lamdan said. “As online education and research platforms pivot towards data analytics, libraries are proactively thinking about how to protect people’s privacy. SPARC creates the ideal space for discussing data collection and surveillance issues cropping up on vendor platforms.”

In her role as Senior Fellow, Lamdan will work closely with the SPARC team to support members in better understanding vendors’ growing surveillance activities, in tracking new developments related to surveillance, and in taking steps to address these threats. Her past experience in libraries makes her particularly well-positioned to support libraries in this work. Lamdan will also bring important additional expertise in the area of antitrust.

“Our conversations with the SPARC membership have made clear both the high degree of concern about vendors’ surveillance activities and a real interest in taking concrete action,” said Heather Joseph, SPARC’s Executive Director. “It is a tremendous opportunity for us to collaborate with Sarah and have the benefit of her expertise as a Senior Fellow in this urgent work.”

Lamdan’s fellowship will start immediately and continue through July 2022. During this fellowship she will remain on the faculty of the CUNY School of Law, where she is currently on sabbatical.

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