Overview of newly passed ALA resolutions, “Resolution on the Surveillance of Library Users Through Behavioral Tracking” and “Resolution in Opposition to Facial Recognition Software in Libraries”
In almost every library or educational organization in which I have been involved there has been an explicit acquiescence to the inevitable intrusion of ed-tech into our students’ lives. We have to resist and demand that technology meets our educational and community values, rather than the other way round.
Our collective future depends on our capacity to get organized. How can we build power in our communities to say no? How can we use our role to teach the public about what’s happening with facial recognition tech and more? It’s in our power to not only envision a better world, but to create it. Let’s take back the future together.
Librarians always have good intentions when they create a program, but may not be fully weighing the outcomes for patrons. We make some noise about new work to get people in our doors and engage with the public; to show our solidarity with our patrons. But what if drawing attention to the library isn’t the best strategy to protect the privacy of the very people you want to serve? It’s difficult to know the precise answer.A lot of what we might think about in librarianship about privacy is through the lens of what are more traditional library services, conducting personal research on a computer, borrowing materials, signing up for a computer class or using the library catalog, and through the lens of education and privilege. How do we convey library values to our communities when they are vulnerable?
Consumer data privacy is having a moment: several bills have recently been introduced to Congress, while federal agencies and state legislatures are also working on the issue.