Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Computer Science
Director of Center for Data, Ethics, and Society
Dr. Michael Zimmer is the Director of Marquette's Center for Data, Ethics, and Society, an interdisciplinary center focused on confronting contemporary data ethics issues such as the controversies and consequences of our increasingly data-driven lives and spaces, unfair algorithmic biases, the unequal effects of computational decision-making, the privacy threats of ubiquitous surveillance systems, and the role for corporate social responsibility and accountability.
Dr. Michael Zimmer 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.
With a background in communication & Internet studies, science & technology studies, and information policy & ethics, Zimmer uses mixed methods to help reveal the social and ethical dimensions of our contemporary digital ecosystem. Recent projects have focused on both quantitative and qualitative investigations into the privacy and ethical dimensions of big data and computational social science research, wearable fitness trackers, smart home technologies, the application of artificial intelligence in various healthcare settings, and surveillance practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CORE 1929: Methods of Inquiry: Data Science
- COSC 1820: Computers, Ethics, and Society
- COSC 4820/5820: Social and Ethical Implications of Data
- COSC 6820: Data Ethics
- COSC 6960: Seminar in Computer Science: Critical Algorithm Studies
- Data ethics
- Internet research ethics
- Social & ethical computing
- Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) – Co-Chair of Ethics Working Committee
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) – Member of Ethics Committee
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT)
- Lenhart, A., Park, S., Zimmer, M., & Vitak, J. (2023). “You Shouldn’t Need to Share Your Data”: Perceived Privacy Risks and Mitigation Strategies Among Privacy-Conscious Smart Home Power Users. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 7(CSCW2), 1–34.
- Park, S., Lenhart, A., Zimmer, M., & Vitak, J. (2023). “Nobody’s Happy”: Design Insights from Privacy-Conscious Smart Home Power Users on Enhancing Data Transparency, Visibility, and Control. Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2023), 543–558.
- Vitak, J., Kumar, P., Liao, Y., & Zimmer, M. (2023). Boundary Regulation Processes and Privacy Concerns With (Non-)Use of Voice-Based Assistants. Human-Machine Communication, 6, 183–201.
- Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2023). Surveillance and the future of work: Exploring employees’ attitudes toward monitoring in a post-COVID workplace. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 28(4).
- Ajmani, L. H., Chancellor, S., Mehta, B., Fiesler, C., Zimmer, M., & De Choudhury, M. (2023). A Systematic Review of Ethics Disclosures in Predictive Mental Health Research. 2023 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, 1311–1323.
- Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2023). Power, Stress, and Uncertainty: Experiences with and Attitudes toward Workplace Surveillance During a Pandemic. Surveillance & Society, 21(1), 29–44.
- Vitak, J., Liao, Y., Mols, A., Trottier, D., Zimmer, M., Kumar, P., & Pridmore, J. (2023). When Do Data Collection and Use Become a Matter of Concern? A Cross-Cultural Comparison of U.S. and Dutch Privacy Attitudes. International Journal of Communication, 17, 471-498.
- Pater, J., Fiesler, C., & Zimmer, M. (2022). No Humans Here: Ethical Speculation on Public Data, Unintended Consequences, and the Limits of Institutional Review. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 6(GROUP), 1-13.
- Zimmer, M. and Logan, S. (2021), Privacy concerns with using public data for suicide risk prediction algorithms: a public opinion survey of contextual appropriateness, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society.
- Shilton, K., Moss, E., Gilbert, S. A., Bietz, M. J., Fiesler, C., Metcalf, J., Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2021). Excavating awareness and power in data science: A manifesto for trustworthy pervasive data research. Big Data & Society
- Proferes, N., Jones, N., Gilbert, S., Fiesler, C., & Zimmer, M. (2021). Studying Reddit: A Systematic Overview of Disciplines, Approaches, Methods, and Ethics. Social Media + Society.
- Reuter, K., Deodhar, A., Makri, S., Zimmer, M., Berenbaum, F., Nikiphorou, xE. (2021). COVID-19 pandemic impact on people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases: Insights from patient-generated health data on social media. Rheumatology.
- Hargittai, E., Redmiles, E. M., Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2020). Americans’ willingness to adopt a COVID-19 tracking app. First Monday, 25(11). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v25i11.11095
- Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2020). More Than Just Privacy: Using Contextual Integrity to Evaluate the Long-Term Risks from COVID-19 Surveillance Technologies. Social Media + Society.
- Wu, P., Vitak, J., & Zimmer, M. (2020). A Contextual Approach to Information Privacy Research. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 71(4). 485-490.
- Zimmer, M., Kumar, P., Vitak, J., Liao, Y., & Chamberlain Kritikos, K. (2020). ‘There’s Nothing Really They Can Do with This Information’: Unpacking How Users Manage Privacy Boundaries for Personal Fitness Information. Information, Communication & Society, 23(7), 1020-1037.
- Reuter ,K., Zhu, Y., Angyan, P., Le, N., Merchant, A., Zimmer, M. (2019). Public Concern About Monitoring Twitter Users and Their Conversations to Recruit for Clinical Trials: Survey Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(10).
- Chu, K. H., Colditz, J., Sidani, J., Zimmer, M., & Primack, B. (2019). Re-evaluating standards of human subjects protection for sensitive health data in social media networks. Social Networks.
- Liao, Y., Vitak, J., Kumar, P., Zimmer, M., & Kritikos, K. (2019). Understanding the Role of Privacy and Trust in Intelligent Personal Assistant Adoption. In Proceedings of the 14th Annual iConference, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (iConference) (pp. 102-113).
- Zimmer, M. (2018). Addressing Conceptual Gaps in Big Data Research Ethics: An Application of Contextual Integrity. Social Media + Society, 4(2).
- Zimmer, M. & Kinder-Kurlanda, K. (Eds.). (2017). Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts. New York: Peter Lang
"Ethics Education and Preparedness for AI Researchers: A Benchmarking Study." Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab. Principal Investigator: $4,625. 2023-2024
"Supporting Privacy Negotiation Among Multiple Stakeholders in Smart Environments." National Science Foundation (NSF) SaTC SMALL: Collaborative Research Grant. Co-Principal Investigator: $145,615 ($599,978 total project funding). 2023-2025
- “How COVID-19 is Changing Workplace Surveillance: American Workers’ Experiences & Privacy Expectations When Working from Home” Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Rapid-Response Grants on Covid-19 and the Social Sciences. Co-Principal Investigator: $5,000. 2020-2021
"PERVADE: Pervasive Data Ethics for Computational Research". National Science Foundation (NSF) CHS: LARGE: Collaborative Research grant. Co-Principal Investigator: $373,957 ($3 million total project funding). 2017-2021
“Mapping Privacy and Surveillance Dynamics in Emerging Mobile Ecosystems: Practices and Contexts in the Netherlands and US.” National Science Foundation (NSF) EAGER (EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) grant. Co-Principal Investigator: $100,685 ($262,000 total project funding). 2016-2019