Chair's and President's Programs
ALA Unit/Subunit: LITA
Meeting Type: President's Program,Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
LITA President Andromeda Yelton welcomes Kendra Albert, a technology lawyer and an affiliate research associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
Talk title: The Silences of (Big) Data
As data becomes the substrate for human and algorithmic decision-making and funding, it speaks louder and louder. But what can we infer when there is no or limited data, that is, when the data is effectively silent? Like all records, the data that libraries collect about their patrons and services contain presence and absence, resistance and compliance, exclusion and overrepresentation. In this provocative talk, lawyer and critical legal scholar Kendra Albert will reflect upon how the rise of data collection in libraries can be informed by the silences of data.
Drawing upon the literature on archival silence, as well as their work understanding and critiquing data collection across contexts, Albert will explore a number of potential reasons for data silences, from law to collection bias to subject disobedience. Their talk will focus on how such silences translate from spaces of curated collection to those where collection and retention is, at least theoretically, automatic and complete.
Kendra Albert is a clinical fellow at Harvard Law School, where they teach students and advise clients on legal matters related to copyright, privacy, and computer security. Their scholarship focuses on applying critical legal theory to modern day technology issues, and understanding how power shapes and is shaped by technology systems.