Practical Privacy Practices

Save the Date!
Choose Privacy Week is held annually May 1-7. Start planning now for your library’s participation and programming. Choose Privacy Week materials are available now in the ALA Store.
Information and tools to help libraries protect the privacy of online users.
Events and activities to raise awareness and engage users on privacy issues.

Voices For Privacy Blog

Privacy News and Views for March 16

Posted by on March 16, 2018 in News and Updates | 0 comments


Make A Giant Leap for Patron Privacy: Prepare For Choose Privacy Week 2018 With A Free Webinar On Library Privacy Audits | Choose Privacy Week

Let’s Encrypt takes free “wildcard” certificates live | Ars Technica

Government Surveillance

TSA accused of searching domestic travelers’ devices with no warrant | Ars Technica

How ICE may be able to access license-plate data from sanctuary cities and use it for arrests | Slate

Students’ and Minors’ Privacy

An American University Is Spying On Students to Predict Dropouts. Here’s What That Says About Big Data in the U.S. | Fortune

Colleges are still trying to grasp meaning of Europe’s new digital privacy law: European Rules (and Big Fines) for American Colleges | Inside Higher Ed

Libraries and Privacy

The Right to Be Forgotten and Implications on Digital Collections: A Survey of ARL Member Institutions on Practice and Policy | College and Research Libraries

Privacy Self-Defense

The One Thing That Protects a Laptop After It’s Been Stolen | New York Times

How to encrypt your text messages for private conversations on iPhone and Android | CNBC


As Google’s Deadline for Web Encryption Looms, Many State and Local Websites Don’t Meet the Standard | Government Technology

Law and Regulation

Weighing Privacy Vs. Security For The Internet’s Address Book | Wired

Data breach victims can sue Yahoo in the United States: judge | Reuters

This Week in Data Breaches

Thousands may be victim to LCS data breach | WCTV (Tallahassee, FL)

BJC HealthCare Notifies Patients Of Massive Data Breach | Patch (St. Louis, MO)

Data Breach Left Millions of Israeli Kids’ Pictures Vulnerable to Hacking | Haaretz

Security breach affects employees, family members | Columbia Chronicle

Florida Virtual School students, teachers and parents may be victims of massive data breach |WFLA (Orlando, FL)


Make A Giant Leap for Patron Privacy: Prepare for CPW2018 with A Free Webinar on Library Privacy Audits

Posted by on March 13, 2018 in Choose Privacy Week, libraries, Privacy Awareness, Privacy Education, Privacy Policies, Webinar | 0 comments

Is your library preparing to observe Choose Privacy Week 2018? Join Erin Berman and Julie Oborny of the San José Public Library for a free webinar that outlines the first steps libraries can take to implement up-to-date privacy policies and procedures.

The webinar “A Practical Guide to Privacy Audits” will include a discussion about why healthy privacy practices are more critical for libraries than ever before and offers a step-by-step guide for starting a privacy audit at your library.

The webinar will take place on Monday, April 16, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern/12:30 p.m. Central/11:30 a.m. Mountain/10:30 a.m. Pacific.

Online registration is available via this link: Space for the live webinar is limited and is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Choose Privacy Week (May 1-8) is the American Library Association’s annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians’ unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole. For more information on Choose Privacy Week, visit

Speaker biographies:

Julie Oborny is a web librarian for San José Public Library (SJPL), where she focuses on analyzing, designing, and developing the library’s online experiences. As an advocate for privacy, intellectual freedom, and technology literacy, she valued the opportunity to work on the design and development team for the award-winning Virtual Privacy Lab — a free resource that helps people optimize their online privacy. Julie authored a chapter about social network sites, surveillance, and RFID in Protecting Patron Privacy: A LITA Guide. She also participated in SJPL’s privacy audit.

Erin Berman is the Innovations Manager for the San José Public Library. She was an American Library Association’s Emerging Leader in the class of 2014, was named one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers in 2016 and is currently a California Library Association at-large board member. Her work in the library field has mainly focused on technology literacy, leading projects such as the Virtual Privacy Lab, the Maker[Space]Ship, and most recently, an internal privacy audit.

Webinar Sponsors:

The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in libraries, including technology, politics, legislation, and social trends. It proposes actions to ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee that promote best policies and practices for library users’ privacy and generally defend and protect the privacy of library users, librarians, and the public.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights and with educating librarians and the public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. OIF supports the work of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee. For more information, visit

Privacy News and Views for March 9

Posted by on March 9, 2018 in News and Updates | 0 comments


Privacy at the Margins | International Journal of Communications
“Privacy is considered a human right, but achieving privacy in a networked age requires a certain level of privilege. This Special Section on Privacy at the Margins brings together nine original social science papers and an editorial introduction to reveal the complex dynamics—such as coercion and consent—that underpin a range of privacy experiences around the world.”

Government and Corporate Surveillance

The Justice Department Is Trying To Keep The Secret Surveillance Court As Secret As Possible | BuzzFeed

Russian Influence Campaign Extracted Americans’ Personal Data | Wall Street Journal

MoviePass CEO proudly says the app tracks your location before and after movies | TechCrunch

Your Data Is Crucial to a Robotic Age. Shouldn’t You Be Paid for It? | New York Times

The Geek Squad Is a Bunch of Narcs | Slate

Amazon Partnership With British Police Alarms Privacy Advocates | The Intercept (Britain)

Palantir Has Secretly Been Using New Orleans To Test Its Predictive Policing Technology | The Verge

Libraries and Privacy

We can, but should we? | American Libraries

“Imagine having access to information about every one of your community members and whether and how they use the library. You could tailor your communications and target those who might need services the most …. While the possibilities of library data in learning analytics might be intriguing, the privacy implications are immense. “

A Peek at Famous Readers’ Borrowing Records From a Private New York Library | Atlas Obscura

Encryption & Crypto-Wars

The Feds Can Now (Probably) Unlock Every iPhone Model In Existence | Forbes

FBI again calls for magical solution to break into encrypted phones | Ars Technica

How Government Lost the Crypto Wars (At Least for Now) | Reason

Privacy Self-Defense

Twitter is public, but it could offer a lot more privacy | The Verge

Right to be Forgotten

How close is an American right-to-be-forgotten? | Forbes

Google Has Received 650,000 ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Requests Since 2014 | NPR

Law and Regulation

Data protection in Europe is about to transform: Here’s how | CNBC

German privacy ruling against Facebook highlights importance of GDPR | Computer Business Review

Chemerinsky: A quartet of Fourth Amendment cases to watch | ABA Journal

This Week in Data Breaches

This bill would make it easier for businesses to keep data breaches under wraps | Los Angeles Times

Data Breach At Fresno State Possibly Impacts 15,000 People | CBS SF Bay Area

Fresno State data breach, 15,000 affected | SC Media US