While there has been some work addressing the broad issue of data privacy and libraries, we believe the most vulnerable and marginalized groups are not getting the information privacy and security resources they need. Without adequate technical skills, low-socioeconomic (SES) families may miss out on opportunities for assistance or become victims of fraud because they lack the skills to navigate technology safely. Previous literature suggests public libraries and librarians in the United States serve as information intermediaries to the community in need. In addition, children with higher digital literacy than their parents serve as “brokers” of information between community resources and the family. However, privacy and security are missing from most discussions of information access and information brokers. Through this project, we will work with families to develop resources and training to help them develop safer privacy and security habits and to work through this process as a family.

For more information see the Safe Data, Safe Families project website.

Lead YX Faculty:

Associated Faculty:

Jessica Vitak (UMD)

Associate Students:

Notable Publications:

  • Kumar, P.C., Subramaniam, M., Vitak, J., Clegg, T.L., & Chetty, M. (2020). Strengthening children’s privacy literacy through contextual integrity. Media and Communication, 8(4), 175-184. doi: 10.17645/mac.v8i4.3236 [open access]
  • Morehouse, S., Vitak, J., Subramaniam, M., & Liao, Y. (2020). Creating a Library Privacy Policy by Focusing on Patron Interactions. In International Conference on Information (iConference)  (pp. 571-578). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43687-2_47 | PDF
  • Subramaniam, M., Kumar, P., Morehouse, S., Liao, Y., & Vitak, J. (2019). Leveraging funds of knowledge to manage privacy practices in families. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 56(1), 245-254. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.67 | PDF
  • Vitak, J., Liao, Y., Subramaniam, M., & Kumar, P. (2018). ‘I Knew It Was Too Good to Be True’: The Challenges Economically Disadvantaged Internet Users Face in Assessing Trustworthiness, Avoiding Scams, and Developing Self-Efficacy Online. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 2(CSCW), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1145/3274445 | PDF
  • Vitak, J., Liao, Y., Kumar, P., & Subramaniam, M. (2018). Librarians as information intermediaries: Navigating tensions between being helpful and being liable. In International Conference on Information (iConference) (pp. 693-702). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78105-1_80 | PDF