CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

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Data Analytics Companies in Academia

Sarah Lamdan, The City University of New York

[Download (MP4)] [View on Youtube]

January 19, 2022 1:30pm, in Zoom


In the transition from industrial to informational capitalism, much of our lived experience has gone from physical to digital, including information services and access. As publishers, library vendors, and other informational service providers have gone online, their business models have transitioned from analog services to data-based services, moving from information providers to data analytics companies. These companies have taken over multiple information markets, including ones where our personal data is sold. Information providers like Elsevier, Lexis law, ProQuest, and other companies that make up our research infrastructure are finding new ways to extract and monetize people's personal data. This talk will trace the transition of publishers and other information providers to data analytics firms, and discuss the impact of this transition on information access and privacy.

This event is cohosted by the Librarians’ and Archivists’ Association of the University of Waterloo.


Sarah Lamdan is a professor at CUNY School of Law. She also has a master's degree in library science and legal information management and a law certificate in environmental law. Her research focuses on information law and policy. When she's not teaching, she works on data justice projects across the spectrum from open government to personal privacy. She researches and writes about information access, surveillance & privacy, and informational capitalism. She's writing a book about data analytics companies called Data Cartels (Stanford University Press). Sarah's a SPARC Senior Fellow ( and a member of the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. She's an IOI council member ( and she also works with immigration groups on government surveillance issues. Professor Lamdan teaches administrative law, environmental law, open government law, and data privacy courses. She also teaches legal research and writing.