Position Paper: Escaping Academic Cloudification to Preserve Academic Freedom

Authors

  • Tobias Fiebig Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik
  • Seda Gürses TU Delft
  • Martina Lindorfer TU Wien

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7146/psj.vi.132713

Keywords:

Cloudification, Privacy, Academic freedom, Policy, Governance

Abstract

Especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of cloud-based tools and solutions - lead by the ‘Zoomification’ of education, has picked up attention in the EdTech and privacy communities. In this paper, we take a look at the progressing use of cloud-based educational tools, often controlled by only a handful of major corporations. We analyse how this ‘cloudification’ impacts academics’ and students’ privacy and how it influences the handling of privacy by universities and higher education institutions. Furthermore, we take a critical perspective on how this cloudification may not only threaten users’ privacy, but ultimately may also compromise core values like academic freedom: the dependency relationships between universities and corporations could impact curricula, while also threatening what research can be conducted. Finally, we take a perspective on universities’ cloudification in different western regions to identify policy mechanisms and recommendations that can enable universities to preserve their academic independence, without compromising on digitalization and functionality.

References

Aday, Serpil, and Mehmet Seckin Aday. “Impact of COVID-19 on the food supply chain.” Food Quality and Safety 4.4 (2020): 167-180.

Ahmed, Sara. What’s the use?: On the uses of use. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

Allen, Anita L. “Privacy-as-data control: Conceptual, practical, and moral limits of the paradigm.” Conn. L. Rev. 32 (2000): 861.

Avila Pinto, Renata. “Digital sovereignty or digital colonialsim.” SUR-Int’l J. on Hum Rts. 27 (2018): 15.

Belcourt, Monica. “Outsourcing—The benefits and the risks.” Human resource management review 16, no. 2 (2006): 269-279.

Bender, Emily M., Timnit Gebru, Angelina McMillan-Major, and Shmargaret Shmitchell. “On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?.” In Proceedings of the 2021 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (Association for Computing Machinery, 2021): 610-623.

Braud, Arnaud, et al. “The road to European digital sovereignty with Gaia-X and IDSA.” IEEE Network 35, no. 2 (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2021): 4-5.

Caine, Kelly, and Rima Hanania. “Patients want granular privacy control over health information in electronic medical records.” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 20, no. 1 (2013): 7-15.

Chan, Adrienne S., and Donald Fisher, eds. The exchange university: Corporatization of academic culture. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009.

Churchman, Deborah. “Voices of the academy: academics’ responses to the corporatizing of academia.” Critical Perspectives on Accounting 13, no. 5-6 (2002): 643-656.

Coghlan, S., T. Miller, and J. Paterson. “Good proctor or “Big Brother”? AI Ethics and Online Exam Supervision Technologies.” Philosophy & Technology (2021).

Custers, Bart, Simone van der Hof, and Bart Schermer. “Privacy expectations of social media users: The role of informed consent in privacy policies.” Policy & Internet 6, no. 3 (2014): 268-295.

Degrasse-Tyson, Neil. “The Clean Room.” Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. National Geographic, Fox Broadcasting, April 20, 2014.

Determann, Lothar, and Robert Sprague. “Intrusive monitoring: Employee privacy expectations are reasonable in Europe, destroyed in the United States.” Berkeley Tech. LJ 26 (2011): 979.

Farrand, Benjamin, and Helena Carrapico. “Digital sovereignty and taking back control: from regulatory capitalism to regulatory mercantilism in EU cybersecurity.” European Security 31, no. 3 (2022): 435-453.

Feldmann, Anja, Oliver Gasser, Franziska Lichtblau, Enric Pujol, Ingmar Poese, Christoph Dietzel, Daniel Wagner, et al. “The lockdown effect: Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on internet traffic.” Proceedings of the ACM internet measurement conference (Association for Computing Machinery, 2020): 1-18.

Feldmann, Anja, Oliver Gasser, Franziska Lichtblau, Enric Pujol, Ingmar Poese, Christoph Dietzel, Daniel Wagner, et al. “A year in lockdown: how the waves of COVID-19 impact internet traffic.” Communications of the ACM 64, no. 7 (Association for Computing Machinery, 2021): 101-108.

Fiebig, Tobias, Seda Gürses, Carlos H. Gañán, Erna Kotkamp, Fernando Kuipers, Martina Lindorfer, Menghua Prisse, and Taritha Sari. “Heads in the Clouds: Measuring the Implications of Universities Migrating to Public Clouds.” arXiv preprint arXiv:2104.09462 (2021).

Fiebig, Tobias, and Doris Aschenbrenner. “13 propositions on an Internet for a ‘burning world’.” Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Joint Workshops on Technologies, Applications, and Uses of a Responsible Internet and Building Greener Internet (2022).

Floridi, Luciano. “The fight for digital sovereignty: What it is, and why it matters, especially for the EU.” Philosophy & Technology 33, no. 3 (2020): 369-378.

Gavilan, Diana, Adela Balderas-Cejudo, Susana Fernández-Lores, and Gema Martinez-Navarro. “Innovation in online food delivery: Learnings from COVID-19.” International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science 24 (2021): 100330.

Gerber, Nina, Paul Gerber, and Melanie Volkamer. “Explaining the privacy paradox: A systematic review of literature investigating privacy attitude and behavior.” Computers & Security 77 (2018): 226-261.

Grapperhaus, Ferd, and Kajsa Ollongren. Verificatie op de uitvoering van het overeengekomen verbeterplan met Microsoft. 2019. https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/brieven_regering/detail?id=2019Z13829&did=2019D28465 accessed May 30, 2022.

Hall, Shannon. “Exxon knew about climate change almost 40 years ago.” Scientific American 26 (2015).

Han, Catherine, Deepak Kumar, and Zakir Durumeric. “On the Infrastructure Providers That Support Misinformation Websites.” Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media 16 (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, 2022).

van Hoek, Remko. “Research opportunities for a more resilient post-COVID-19 supply chain–closing the gap between research findings and industry practice.” International Journal of Operations & Production Management 40, no. 4 (2020): 341-355.

Holzbauer, Florian et al., “Not that Simple: Email Delivery in the 21st Century.” USENIX Annual Technical Conference (2022).

Jones, Brian William . “The unlimited storage that Google promised my university is being discontinued”, Twitter, URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20221129194157/https://twitter.com/bwjones/status/1490802506628145153, accessed May 30, 2022.

Karamollahi, Mehdi, Carey Williamson, and Martin Arlitt. “Zoomiversity: a case study of pandemic effects on post-secondary teaching and learning.” International Conference on Passive and Active Network Measurement. Cham: Springer, 2022: 573-599.

Kaur, Mannat, Simon Parkin, Marijn Janssen, and Tobias Fiebig. “‘I needed to solve their overwhelmness’: How system administration work was affected by COVID-19.” 25th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (Association for Computing Machinery, 2022).

Kwet, Michael, “In Stores, Secret Surveillance Tracks Your Every Move,” The New York Times, June 14, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/14/opinion/bluetooth-wireless-tracking-privacy.html, accessed May 30, 2022.

Mangini, Vincenzo, Irina Tal, and Arghir-Nicolae Moldovan. “An empirical study on the impact of GDPR and right to be forgotten-organisations and users perspective.” Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (2020):1-9.

Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens. “The limits to growth.” In Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics, edited by Ken Conca and Geoffrey Dabelko, 25-29. Abingdon: Routledge, 2018.

Menn, Joseph, and Talor Lorenz. “Under pressure, security firm Cloudflare drops Kiwi Farms website,” Washington Post, September 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/09/03/cloudflare-drops-kiwifarms/, accessed November 11, 2022.

Nissenbaum, Helen. Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.

NYU-AAUP Executive Committee. “Statement from the NYU-AAUP on Zoom Censorship Today.” Academe Blog, October 23, 2020. https://academeblog.org/2020/10/23/statement-from-the-nyu-aaup-on-zoom-censorship-today/, accessed May 30, 2022.

Ortutay, Barbara. “Facebook shuts out NYU academics’ research on political ads”, AP News, August 5, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/technology-business-5d3021ed9f193bf249c3af158b128d18, accessed May 30, 2022.

Patterson, Clair C. “Contaminated and natural lead environments of man.” Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal 11, no. 3 (1965): 344-360.

Pikoos, Toni D., Simone Buzwell, Gemma Sharp, and Susan L. Russell. “The Zoom effect: exploring the impact of video calling on appearance dissatisfaction and interest in aesthetic treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Aesthetic Surgery Journal 41, no. 12 (2021): NP2066-NP2075.

Pohle, Julia, and Thorsten Thiel. “Digital sovereignty.” In Practicing Sovereignty: Digital Involvement in Times of Crises, eds. Bianca Herlo, Daniel Irrgang, Gesche Joost, and Andreas Unteidig, 47-67. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2021.

Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/uyratt/d_i_dont_really_trust_papers_out_of_top_labs/, accessed May 30, 2022.

Roberts, Huw, Josh Cowls, Federico Casolari, Jessica Morley, Mariarosaria Taddeo, and Luciano Floridi. “Safeguarding European values with digital sovereignty: An analysis of statements and policies.” Internet Policy Review (2021).

Rojszczak, Marcin. “CLOUD act agreements from an EU perspective.” Computer Law & Security Review 38 (2020): 105442.

Rowe, Sylvia, Nick Alexander, Fergus Clydesdale, Rhona Applebaum, Stephanie Atkinson, Richard Black, Johanna Dwyer, et al. “Funding food science and nutrition research: financial conflicts and scientific integrity.” Nutrition Reviews 67, no. 5 (2009): 264-272.

Slashdot, N.D.a https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/22/02/14/1433256/, accessed November 11, 2022.

Slashdot N.D.b https://tech.slashdot.org/story/22/10/03/2327248/universities-adaptto-googles-new-storage-fees-or-migrate-away-entirely, accessed November 11, 2022.

Srnicek, Nick. Platform Capitalism. Hoboken: Wiley & Sons, 2017.

U.S. Department of Education. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html, accessed November 11, 2022.

Unnikrishnan, Avinash, and Miguel Figliozzi. “Exploratory analysis of factors affecting levels of home deliveries before, during, and post-COVID-19.” Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 10 (2021): 100402.

Weiss, Martin A., and Kristin Archick. “US-EU data privacy: from safe harbor to privacy shield.” Congressional Research Service May 19, 2016.

Williamson, Ben, and Anna Hogan. “Pandemic Privatisation in Higher Education: Edtech and University Reform.” Education International (2021).

Zuboff, Shoshana. “Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization.” Journal of Information Technology 30, no. 1 (2015): 75-89.

Downloads

Published

2022-12-20

How to Cite

Fiebig, T., Gürses, S., & Lindorfer, M. (2022). Position Paper: Escaping Academic Cloudification to Preserve Academic Freedom. Privacy Studies Journal, 51–68. https://doi.org/10.7146/psj.vi.132713

Issue

Section

Position Papers