CNI takes a broad view of security, integrity, privacy and access management issues as they relate to the management of licensed resources and the stewardship and preservation of digital content. New technological capabilities (notably the ability for users to amass and maintain massive personal digital libraries which include large amounts of copyrighted material drawn from licensed databases or large collections of digital books on proprietary reading platforms) continue to raise complex questions with both technological and policy dimensions. CNI believes that we must continue to explore new behaviors and practices such as the building of workgroup or personal collections combining public and private materials, or large-scale text or data mining that spans published literature and databases and unreleased research results, or the emerging commerce in information about reader behaviors in various contexts.
We conducted an executive roundtable at the spring 2015 meeting that broadly explored privacy in an age of analytics. A specific area on which we continue to focus is so-called “reading analytics,” including their interactions with learning analytics in e-textbooks. An article exploring aspects of such analytics is also scheduled to appear this program year.
Authentication and authorization are now established as essential infrastructure components for network-based services and have become a particularly critical need as institutions increasingly rely on site license agreements with information providers, implement online and distance education initiatives, and form consortia for resource sharing or educational initiatives. They are an essential underpinning for data sharing and data reuse. The Coalition has been supporting partners such as Internet2, EDUCAUSE, and InCommon in pursuing a program to define technology approaches, standards, best practices, and policy and business issues for such inter-organizational authentication and authorization infrastructures. Our March 2015 workshop on privacy highlighted the need for further work in extending these technologies so that they are easily used in systems deployed by researchers as well as institutional systems. In August 2016 we released the results of a member survey we conducted on privacy practices surrounding both technical and contractual practices related to licensed external content resources; as a follow-on to this report we will be looking further at the interactions among attribute based authorization and attribute policies, privacy, and usage data that can be gathered to help in resource allocation decisions.