Michael Zimmer, PhD, is a privacy and data ethics scholar whose work focuses on digital privacy & surveillance, the ethics of big data, internet research ethics, and the broader social & ethical dimensions of emerging digital technologies.

Dr. Zimmer is Director of the Center for Data, Ethics, and Society at Marquette University, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science.

I was privileged to be featured in the Milwaukee Business Journal as one of the “10 People to Know in Technology“, and thrilled I could highlight the work we are doing at the Marquette Center for Data, Ethics, and Society.


Current Projects:

  • Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team on PERVADE (Pervasive Data Ethics for Computational Research), a multi-year research project funded by a $3 million LARGE grant from the NSF to study how diverse stakeholders – big data researchers, platforms, regulators, and user communities – understand their ethical obligations and choices related to computational research that relies on big, pervasive data sets about people.
  • Collaborating with Dr. Jessica Vitak (University of Maryland) on the SSRC Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences funded project “How Covid-19 Is Changing Workplace Surveillance: American Workers’ Experiences and Privacy Expectations When Working from Home“.
  • Dr. Jessica Vitak (University of Maryland) and I are also collaborating on various studies of smart home power users to understand their unique perspectives and privacy/security concerns and craft recommendations that could benefit the entire smart home ecosystem.
  • Working with Dr. Jordan Smoller (Harvard) and the SmollerLab team on NIMH-funded efforts to ethically utilize machine learning methods, integrate multiple data sources, and apply natural language processing approaches for suicide risk prediction.
  • Curation of The Zuckerberg Files, a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, spanning 2004-2022. We currently have over 1,400 transcript files and over 200 videos archived for researchers.
  • Co-editor of the “Information Society” book series at MIT Press (with Laura DeNardis).
  • Various other fun projects with students and other collaborators. Too many to mention, but all exciting! I also recently joined Mastodon.

Recent Events:

The Zuckerberg Files is a digital archive of all public utterances of Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, spanning 2004-2022

Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda and I recently published “Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts“ with dozens of great contributors. A cc-licensed PDF is available here.

Recent Publications: