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Michael Zimmer, Ph.D.

Michael Zimmer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Doctoral Program Director & Director, CIPR

611310 School of Information Studies
Office:NWQB 2531
Phone:(414) 229-3627
Fax:Fax(414) 229-6699
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Michael Zimmer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Director, Doctoral Program
Director, Center for Information Policy Research


Ph.D., Media, Culture and Communication New York University

M.A., Media Ecology New York University

B.B.A., Marketing University of Notre Dame


Michael Zimmer, PhD, is a privacy and Internet ethics scholar. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Director of the Center for Information Policy Research.

With a background in new media and Internet studies, the philosophy of technology, and information policy & ethics, Zimmer’s research focuses on the ethical dimensions of new media and information technologies, with particular interest in online privacy, social media, internet research ethics, and pragmatic engagements in values-in-design.

Zimmer received his PhD in 2007 from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He was a Student Fellow at theInformation Law Institute at NYU Law from 2004-2007, and was the Microsoft Resident Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School for 2007-2008, and remains an Affiliated Fellow. Zimmer joined UW-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies in 2008.

Zimmer serves on numerous advisory boards, including UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies, the Washington, D.C.-based Future of Privacy Forum think tank, and the NSF-sponsored Values-in-Design Council. He is on the editorial advisory boards of Internet Research and the International Review of Information Ethics, and is co-editor of The Information Society book series for MIT Press. He has participated in various public interest activities, and provided expert advice and consultation for projects at the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, Google, and Microsoft. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Association of Internet Researchers.

Zimmer has published in numerous international academic journals and delivered talks across North America, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, on National Public Radio‘s Morning Edition, Science Friday, and Here & Now news programs,The Huffington Post,,, GQ Magazine, The Montreal Gazette, The Boston Globe, MIT Technology Review, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and in various other national and local media outlets.

Zimmer was also featured in the “Is My Cellphone Spying on Me?” commentary accompanying the 2-disc special edition DVD for the hit action/thriller movieEagle Eye.

Courses Taught

110 Introduction to Information Science
120 Information Technology Ethics
490 Senior Capstone
691 The Search Engine Society
960 Doctoral Seminar in Information Policy

Sample Publications

Zimmer, M. & McCleer, A. (2014). The 2009 West Bend Community Memorial Library Controversy: Understanding the Challenge, the Reactions, and the Aftermath. Library Trends, 62(4), 721-729.
Zimmer, M. & Proferes, N. (2014). A topology of Twitter research: Disciplines, methods, and ethics. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 66(3), 250-261.
Zimmer, M. (2014). Librarian attitudes regarding information and Internet privacy. Library Quarterly, 84(2), 123-151.
Zimmer, M. (2013). Patron privacy in the “2.0” era: Avoiding the Faustian bargain of library 2.0. Journal of Information Ethics, 22(1), 44-59

Zimmer, M., & Proferes, N. (2013). Privacy on Twitter, Twitter on privacy. In A. Bruns, K. Weller, J. Burgess, M. Mahrt & C. Puschmann (Eds.), Twitter and Society (169-181). New York, NY: Peter Lang