1–7 Dates in May that Choose Privacy Week is annually observed. 1939 Year that the American Library Association adopted its Bill of Rights, which affirms a commitment to privacy in its first iteration. 48 Number of US states (plus the District of Columbia) that protect the confidentiality of library users’ records by law. The remaining … Continue reading By the Numbers: Privacy
“The librarian profession cares a great deal about the public’s right to privacy, and this is a very serious erosion of that,” says Alison Macrina. Macrina is director of Library Freedom Project, an organization that educates librarians about privacy-related rights and tools. “It means that whatever ISP we use in the library is now privy … Continue reading How to Protect Patrons’ Digital Privacy
The day started with a plenary session with education innovators Jeffrey Martín of honorCode and Stephen Harmon of Georgia Tech Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U). Moderators Audrey Church, professor and coordinator of the school librarianship program of Longwood University and president of the American Association of School Librarians, and Ann Campion Riley, associate director … Continue reading Exploring Our Foundations in Times of Change
The problems of keeping student data private in an increasingly complex world of networked information and online tracking were addressed in a Monday morning session, “Student Privacy: The Big Picture on Big Data,” sponsored by the ALA Office of Government Relations and the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). The featured speaker was Elana Zeide, a privacy advocate, attorney and research fellow at New York University’s Information Law Institute.
Section 215, which became known as the “library records provision,” not only allowed law enforcement agencies to secretly monitor electronic communications emanating from libraries, it also required librarians to turn over patron information if requested and even imposed a gag order on those forced to comply, thus preventing them from telling anyone. ALA opposition to … Continue reading “Baseless Hysteria”?
A few days ago brought a minor news item describing refinements Google has made to the process to request the removal of links in search results that are “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant,” popularly known as the “right to be forgotten,” in response to a 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice. Ever … Continue reading Forget Me Not
Secure communication on the web provides two important benefits: identifying the website authoritatively enabling encrypted communications between the user’s browser and the server that provides the resource Encryption algorithms transform the data into a seemingly garbled form that, if intercepted, cannot be deciphered. The use of a secure communication protocol (HTTPS) provides the best approach … Continue reading Protecting Patron Privacy
But in one sense, it’s already happening. In December 2015, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit digital technology rights group, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Google for Education, alleging that the company is surreptitiously collecting data about students as they use their school-owned Chromebooks and education apps—data that they’re using … Continue reading Champions of Children’s Privacy
The panel included James G. Neal, university librarian emeritus of Columbia University, trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and a member of ALA’s Executive Board; Abigail Slater, vice president, legal and regulatory policy, for the Internet Association; and Tomas Lipinski, dean of the School of Information Studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a member … Continue reading Should There Be a Right to Be Forgotten?
The internet doesn’t have to be scary. That’s the message from Erin Berman, innovations manager at San José (Calif.) Public Library (SJPL), and Jon Worona, division manager for technology and innovation at SJPL. American Libraries invited Berman and Worona to discuss the library’s new Virtual Privacy Lab, an interactive site that teaches people about online … Continue reading California Library Creates Online Privacy Tool
Gluejar’s Eric Hellman has been doing some volunteer work for the Library Freedom Project, which has launched a most worthy initiative called the Library Digital Privacy Pledge. The idea is this: If we’re serious about the values expressed in the third article of the American Library Association Code of Ethics (“We protect each library user’s … Continue reading The Library Digital Privacy Pledge
We know that intellectual freedom is a core value of our profession, but it’s easy to become complacent and lose sight of the magnitude of our role in protecting patron privacy. This may stem from the fact that there is now so much that is outside of our control, but that makes our role as … Continue reading More Important Than Ever