Practical Privacy Practices

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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 Update: Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

Posted by on March 19, 2018 in data mining, News and Updates, Privacy and Social Media, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Over the past weekend, the Guardian, the New York Times, and Britain’s Channel Four published stories detailing how Cambridge Analytica employed a third-party researcher to harvest 50 million Facebook users’ profiles for use in political campaigns.  Below we’ve compiled links to those stories, public reaction to the news, and one item on privacy self defense.

Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach  | The Guardian

A Researcher’s Quiz App Deceptively Harvested Data for Political Research, Facebook Alleges   | Adweek

Whistleblower reveals to Channel 4 News data grab of 50 million Facebook profiles by Cambridge Analytica |Channel4News (United Kingdom)

Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm that helped Donald Trump get elected| ReCode
Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data it promised Facebook it had deleted, the company claims.

How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions | New York Times

Cambridge Analytica Took 50m Facebook Users’ Data—And Both Companies Owe Answers | Wired

Facebook’s Role in Data Misuse Sets Off Storms on Two Continents | New York Times

Facebook’s Zuckerberg comes under fire from UK, US lawmakers | AP News

Facebook data whistleblower: ‘fake news to the next level’ | AP News

Report: Cambridge Analytica trying to block exposé by U.K.’s Channel 4 | CBS News

Update, 6:30 PM, 3/19/2018:

Facebook Ignites Debate Over Third-Party Access to User Data | Wall Street Journal

Facebook may have violated FTC privacy deal, say former federal officials, triggering risk of massive fines | The Washington Post

Cambridge Analytica Execs Caught Discussing Extortion And Fake News | Wired

Cambridge Analytica: Warrant sought to inspect company | BBC News

Britain’s information commissioner plans to seek a warrant to access servers of data mining firm Cambridge Analytica | ABC News

Self-described whistleblower suspended by Facebook after Cambridge Analytica reports | The Hill

Exploiting Facebook data to influence voters? That’s a feature, not a bug, of the social network | Los Angeles Times

Facebook Owes You More Than This | Wired

New York professor sues Cambridge Analytica to find out what it knows about him | CNN

Massachusetts launches probe into Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data | The Hill

Banks have to know their customers. Shouldn’t Facebook and Twitter? | Vox

Privacy Self-Defense

How to protect your Facebook privacy – or delete yourself completely | The Guardian

Tools to Protect User Privacy | Choose Privacy Week

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