Picture of Katie
Associate Professor
University of Maryland
College of Information Studies

Contact

Patuxent Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
kshilton@umd.edu

About Me

My research focuses on ethics and policy for the design of information technologies, systems, and collections.

I lead the Ethics & Values in Design (EViD) Lab at the UMD iSchool. My work has been supported by multiple awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation, including an NSF CAREER award.

I received a B.A. from Oberlin College, a Master of Library and Information Science from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Information Studies from UCLA.

I teach courses in design, technology and data ethics, and information policy.

Current Projects

Please visit the Ethics & Values in Design (EViD) Lab site for detailed project information.
  • PERVADE: Pervasive Data Ethics for Computational Research
    Studying changing practices and emerging ethical norms among big data researchers, data subjects, and regulators to provide guidance for ethical use of pervasive data. With a six-institution team of researchers. More information about the project can be found on the PERVADE website.
  • The Development of Research Ethics Governance Projects in Computer Science
    Computing researchers are currently revising ethics codes, writing new ethics guidelines, forming new ethics committees within conferences and professional associations, dictating ethics requirements for funding, and proposing new ethics requirements for publications. This project characterizes and evaluates historical, ongoing, and emerging ethics governance projects within computer science. By creating a recent history of computing governance during this active period of questioning, the project will appraise and evaluate current efforts, and recommend best practices for computing research governance. With Megan Finn .
  • Learning Code(s): Community-Centered Design of Automated Content Moderation
    Online platforms increasingly enforce complex speech and content policies to encourage participation and prevent hate speech and extremism. Balancing free speech and equality online is not only a thorny social problem debated by platforms and legislators, but also a problem negotiated every day by a (volunteer and paid) workforce of online moderators. This project uses participatory design with volunteer moderators to build machine learning tools to support healthier online communities, enable better working conditions for online moderators, and create more flexible software responses to community policies and norms. With Sarah Gilbert, Hal Daume, and Michelle Mazurek.
  • Privacy Influencers and Narratives
    Analyzing scholarly, media, public, and legislative discourses about privacy and data protection to reveal how definitions, implementations, and social importance of privacy are changing, and who is influencing those changes. This effort is part of a larger privacy influence project led by Frauke Kreuter .

News

October 2022
I have several talks in October. I'm looking forward to being a keynote speaker at the Office of Human Research Protection's Research Community Forum on Trust, Technology and Consent. I'll also be talking with my colleague Megan Finn about "Ethics Governance-in-the-Making: Bridging Ethics Work and Governance in the Menlo Report" at the the Stanford Human-Computer Interaction Seminar.
September 2022
With colleague Megan Finn, we have received NSF funding to study the development of research ethics governance projects in computer science.
August 2022
With colleague Tamara Clegg, I have received funding from UMD's Teaching and Learning Transformation Center to pilot Navigating Ethics in Technology (NET+), a mentoring and experiential learning program to foster ethical tech identities.
September 2021
The PERVADE team's first full-team paper establishing recommendations for ethics in data science, "Excavating awareness and power in data science: a manifesto for trustworthy pervasive data research" has been accepted to the journal Big Data & Society. The article is openly available here.
September 2021
I have been appointed a co-director for the Social Data Science Bachelor of Science degree. This is a new undergraduate major shared between the UMD iSchool and Behavioral and Social Sciences.