Time for Action: Ending “bulk collection” of library records on the line in looming Senate vote

by Adam Eisgrau, ALA Washington Office May 14, 2015 Crossposted from District Dispatch Last night the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 338 to 88, for passage of the latest version of the USA FREEDOM Act, H.R. 2048. The bill — and the battle to achieve the first meaningful reform of the USA PATRIOT Act since it was enacted 14 years ago — now shifts to the Senate. There, the outcome may well turn on the willingness of individual...

Read More

Choose Privacy Week 2015: Toward A Set of Best Practices to Protect Patron Privacy in Library 2.0

Choose Privacy Week 2015: Toward A Set of Best Practices to Protect Patron Privacy in Library 2.0

by Michael Zimmer In today’s information ecosystem, libraries increasingly incorporate interactive, collaborative, and user-centered features of the so-called “Web 2.0” world into traditional library services, thereby creating “Library 2.0”. Examples include: providing patrons the ability to evaluate and comment on particular items in a library’s collection through discussion forums or comment threads; creating dynamic and...

Read More

Choose Privacy Week Brief: Tell Congress to Support Real Privacy and Surveillance Law Reform

Choose Privacy Week Brief: Tell Congress to Support Real Privacy and Surveillance Law Reform

The time is long past for Section 215 to be meaningfully reformed to restore the civil liberties massively and unjustifiably compromised by the USA PATRIOT Act. ~~ALA President Courtney Young  Very nearly from the day the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law in 2001, librarians raised concerns about the scope of surveillance authorized under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.  In particular, librarians protested the low or non-existent...

Read More

Choose Privacy Week 2015: What You Should Know About “Anonymous” Aggregate Data About You

Choose Privacy Week 2015: What You Should Know About “Anonymous” Aggregate Data About You

By Gretchen McCord Today more than ever, we appreciate that raw data has great financial value. The owners of websites, social media tools, and cell phone applications make billions of dollars annually on “targeted,” or “behavioral,” advertising. They attempt to ensure us that although they collect, share, and use data about us in countless ways, our privacy is safe, because they only use “anonymous” aggregate data. But it turns out...

Read More

Choose Privacy Week Brief: Let’s Encrypt / HTTPS Everywhere

Choose Privacy Week Brief:  Let’s Encrypt / HTTPS Everywhere

IT specialists like Marshall Breeding and privacy advocates like Alison Macrina of the Library Freedom Project are urging libraries and vendors to encrypt their websites and online automation and discovery systems to better protect patron privacy. Encrypting websites and networked communications requires the installation of Transport Layer Security (TLS) / Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) identity certificates and then use of the HTTPS protocol by...

Read More

Choose Privacy Week 2015: Patron Privacy in Online Catalogs and Discovery Services

Choose Privacy Week 2015: Patron Privacy in Online Catalogs and Discovery Services

By Marshall Breeding Concern for keeping records related to the details and borrowing activity of patrons has been a longstanding priority for libraries. We expect integrated library systems and related applications to include features to handle any data that specifically identifies a patron securely. As with any computer application, security features should be in place to prevent unauthorized intrusion. Beyond industry-standard security...

Read More