CUNY Technology Group

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Proposal to install spyware in university libraries

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    Beth Evans

    I saw this on the Library Link of the Day.

    Proposal to install spyware in university libraries to protect copyrights shocks academics

    From the story:

    The speaker, Corey Roach, a security officer at the University of Utah, described a plug-in that could collect “biometric data, which can be things like how quick did they type, how do they move their mouse,” in order to distinguish and identify individual users, who are otherwise anonymized by university proxy servers.

    ….To incentivize libraries to install the software, Roach suggested offering them discounts on publisher databases in exchange.

    Not a good thing.


    Junior Tidal

    I read this the other day and found it incredibly invasive and disturbing. I feel like the only reason to SNSI would create such a plugin is to monetize the metadata (like so many other companies have done during the pandemic) collected from users. I believe boycotting those companies, much like the University of California has, is an appropriate for libraries if this plugin were to be deployed.

    David M. Shapiro

    Indeed, what could be a better fit than neoliberal monetization and hi-tech surveillance?

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