Practical Privacy Practices

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Voices For Privacy Blog

Brooklyn, Queens, and New York Public Libraries Launch a New Digital Privacy Initiative

Posted by on December 1, 2017 in libraries, Privacy Awareness, Privacy Education, Protecting Privacy | 0 comments

by William Marden
Chair, ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee

The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library are teaming up with the Metropolitan New York Library Council to bring digital privacy and data-security information to New York City’s 8.5 million residents.

With support from the NYC Mayor’s Office, the project will train the city’s front-line librarians to be able to answer questions about internet privacy and data security, ensuring that NYC residents can rely on public libraries for trusted and current information in this increasingly-important area.

“New Yorkers need resources to protect themselves as they access the Internet,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., NYC’s Chief Technology Officer, whose agency is providing financial support. “This initiative is a critical component of the City’s mission to safeguard privacy and security as we continue to expand internet access to all New Yorkers,” he added.

NYC Digital Safety: Privacy & Security, will employ both online-learning modules and in-person workshops to train more than 1,000 library staff members throughout the city’s three main library systems. The specialized training is scheduled to be rolled out in the spring and summer 2018.  An advisory committee with representatives from the NYPL, Brooklyn and Queens library systems is building on curricula already created through the Data Privacy Project. The committee will further leverage resources previously developed by the Mozilla Foundation, Data & Society, the New America Foundation, the Library Freedom Project. Tactical Tech, and others.

Plans are also in the works to make the final curricula, toolkits, and facilitation guides available at the conclusion of the project for use by a broader community of librarians, educators, and technologists.

The senior leaders of all three library systems have already weighed in with their unanimous support. “Threats to digital privacy are rampant,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “It is essential our librarians have the tools and knowledge to help our patrons use computers and other devices safely.”

“Libraries are universally trusted resources that provide a safe harbor during difficult times,” said Tony Marx, President of NYPL, who praised the project’s goal of ensuring that “all New Yorkers have the knowledge they need to confidently navigate the World Wide Web safely and securely.”

Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott noted, “This initiative will help library staff deliver a higher level of service by showing our customers how to stay safe online,” further citing “the power of libraries to promote digital literacy to anyone who seeks it.”

At the New York Metropolitan Library Council (METRO), which is providing administrative support for this effort, director Nate Hill commented, “As recent events have shown, privacy and security online are incredibly important issues. We know libraries are incredibly well positioned to act as a resource to help the public protect their data.”

Bill Marden became NYPL’s first Director of Data Privacy and Compliance in November 2015. He comes to NYPL with almost 20 years of policy, regulatory, and compliance experience at some of the world’s leading financial institutions including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS. Previous to his time in the financial world, Bill was a librarian in both the public and private sectors, including six years as books and manuscripts curator for the Frederick R. Koch Foundation, now housed at Yale’s Beinecke Library. He also interned at the Pierpont Morgan Library while studying for his MLS, which he received from Columbia University in 1988.

He is the author of two award-winning books about New York City bookstores, and is also a contributor to “Protecting Patron Privacy in the 21st-century Library,” published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Privacy News and Views for November 17

Posted by on November 17, 2017 in News and Updates, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Criminals make student data public in escalating demands for ransom | NBC News

Government Surveillance

Sessions: Surveillance Reform Could Be ‘Exceedingly Damaging’ to National Security |

The NSA should delete its trove of data on Americans | The Atlantic

Corporate Surveillance

TV stations are about to track you and sell targeted ads, just like Google and Facebook | Washington Post

New FCC Regulation Raises Concerns Over Spying TVs and Obsolescence| Gizmodo

It’s time to tax companies for using our personal data | New York Times

Missouri AG launches antitrust and privacy probe of Google | MediaPost

As Amazon looks to unlock your door, taking stock of meaning of privacy | NPR


Giant Wall of Lava Lamps Helps to Protect 10% of Internet Traffic (Seriously) | Nerdist

Broadband Privacy

Wireless Industry Lobbies To Ban States From Protecting Your Privacy, Net Neutrality | Techdirt

Biometric Privacy

Hackers say they’ve broken face ID a week after the iPhone X release | Wired

Digital pill that tracks use when swallowed gets FDA approval | Bloomberg

Law and Regulation

Wireless carriers on mute as U.S. top court hears big privacy case | Reuters

GDPR: Crackdowns and conflict on personal privacy| Financial Times

Facebook safe from massive privacy lawsuit for now | CNet

Florida court: Dead or not, privacy right remains alive | U.S. News and World Report

Right to Be Forgotten

Freedom of expression: Paper looks at ‘right to be forgotten’ in Latin American context | Intellectual Property Watch

This Week in Data Breaches

Forever 21 customers may have been targeted in credit card data breach | KRON-TV

Privacy News and Views for November 10

Posted by on November 10, 2017 in News and Updates | 0 comments


Minimize your library’s future data breach | OIF Blog; “It goes without saying that every library should do everything they can to safeguard each user’s privacy. But in the event that a breach or data theft occurs, it will be better if the information that is there isn’t more comprehensive than is absolutely necessary.”

We must not let big tech threaten our security, freedoms and democracy  (Editorial by Sen. Al Franken) | The Guardian

Government Surveillance

ALA joins 45 privacy, civil rights, and human rights organizations to urge opposition to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

ALA also signed on to a letter urging Congress to close the close the “backdoor search loophole” in the USA Liberty Act.

Congress Can’t Compromise on Privacy | US News and World Report

Reps. Seek to Slam Surveillance Back Door | Broadcasting & Cable

Treasury’s Turf War over Domestic Surveillance | Just Security

Department of Homeland Security Annual Privacy Report |

Corporate Surveillance

Founder of web browser Opera says worried about online privacy | The New York Times

Big Brother isn’t just watching: workplace surveillance can track your every move | The Guardian

Students’ and Minors’ Privacy

YouTube’s new profiles for children have privacy experts very concerned | MarketWatch


Texas gunman’s iPhone could reignite FBI-Apple feud over encryption | The Washington Post


BIPA Fingerprint Suits Continue | National Law Review

Privacy Self-Defense

The iOS 11 privacy and security settings you should check right now | Wired

Law and Regulation

Worried about hackers, states turn to cyber insurance | Pew Stateline

ICANN Meeting Fails To Resolve Privacy Law Clash | The Recorder