Committed to Privacy, Data Security and Civil Liberties

The Apple/FBI court case has raised threats to privacy, data security, and civil liberties to a new level of public awareness and media attention. I am pleased that ALA has been actively monitoring the case and I am proud of our advocacy for privacy and constitutional freedoms.

I believe we can anticipate that, regardless of the outcome of this specific case, we will see increasing efforts over the coming years to expand surveillance and erode privacy.

Given these circumstances, I have been working to bring attention to privacy and data security issues in libraries, particularly with respect to the third party databases and networked resources that we provide.

Many conference calls and webinar presentations on privacy mean my headset gets used a lot!

I was a member of the national advisory committee that oversaw the development of the NISO Consensus Principles on Users’ Digital Privacy in Library, Publisher, and Software-Provider Systems and am now participating in the international Research Data Alliance-NISO Privacy Implications of Research Data Sets Working Group.

At my own library, I have been serving on the Privacy Policies Implementation Team, which articulated a set of privacy and data security principles, conducted a thorough review of our policies, and made recommendations for patron and staff training.

Later this month I will be speaking on Principles, Policies, and Procedures: From Values to Organizational Practices (strategies for developing library privacy policies) during a NISO Privacy Webinar – Understanding Library Policies. And, announced today, I will be co-presenting an ACRL Webinar with Andrew Asher on Privacy and the Online Classroom: Learning Analytics, Ethical Considerations, and Responsible Practice in April. Andrew and I have presented together previously and materials from our 2015 ALA Annual presentation, All the Data: Privacy, Service Quality, and Analytics are freely available.  I’ll also be an invited speaker on Learning Analytics: Opportunities and Risks at the “At the Intersection: Libraries & the Digital Learning Ecosystem” conference that is being hosted by the CIC Center for Library Initiatives.

ALA has a new director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, Jamie LaRue. If you didn’t have a chance to participate in the webinar “Meet Jamie LaRue!” I highly recommend listening to the recording. I appreciate Jamie’s strong commitment to our library values and participatory approach to engaging with those who seek to challenge library materials or censor others.

As ALA President, I would be pleased to work with Jamie and proud to speak out on behalf of our commitment to privacy, freedom, and civic liberties.

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