Who’s Reading the Reader? : Choose Privacy Week 2015

This year’s observance of Choose Privacy Week, May 1 – 7, 2015 asks the question, “Who’s Reading the Reader?” The rapid development of online and digital technologies have given governments and corporations alike the ability to track, record, and monitor our communications and reading habits – a very real threat to the reader’s right to privacy.

During Choose Privacy Week the American Library Association invites librarians and library users to engage in a conversation about protecting and defending reader privacy rights and how to acquire the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to address the widespread surveillance and data mining that collects information about users’ communications, reading and web surfing habits.

The featured event for this year’s Choose Privacy Week is a week-long online forum that will include guest commentaries by librarians and privacy experts on the challenges of protecting reader privacy. The forum schedule is below:

May 1, 2015: Who’s Reading the Reader: Choose Privacy Week 2015 by Michael Robinson, chair, ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee.

Michael Robinson is an Associate Professor, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage and chair of the Alaska Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee

May 2, 2015: The Poacher and the Five Blind Librarians, by Eric Hellman.

Eric Hellman is a technologist, entrepreneur, and writer who blogs at http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.com/ where he publishes his own research on how well vendors follow privacy practices.

May 3, 2015: Passwords: Alison’s Personal Password Strategy by Alison Macrina.

Alison Macrina is the founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, an initiative that trains librarians on the state of global surveillance, privacy rights, and privacy-protecting technology.

May 4, 2015: Online Catalogs, Discovery Services, and Patron Privacy by Marshall Breeding.

Marshall Breeding is an independent consultant focusing on the strategic use of technology in libraries and related organizations. He is the creator of Library Technology Guides and the editor of Smart Libraries Newsletter published by ALA TechSource.

May 5, 2015: What You Should Know About “Anonymous” Aggregated Data About You by Gretchen McCord.

Gretchen McCord, formerly a practicing academic librarian, is an attorney specializing in privacy and copyright law.

May 6, 2015: The NISO Patron Privacy Project: Developing a Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems by Michael Zimmer.

Michael Zimmer is a privacy and Internet ethics scholar who is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Director of its Center for Information Policy Research.

May 7, 2015: Creating a Digital Privacy Literacy Game to Create Safe and Secure Online Personas by Erin Berman and Jon Worona.

Erin is the Community Programs Administrator for Technology and Innovation at San Jose Public Library and Jon is the Division Manager for Technology and Innovation at San Jose Public Library. Their proposal to create an online privacy literacy prototype for San Jose Public Library users won a Knight News Challenge for Libraries grant.

This is the sixth year we’ve observed Choose Privacy Week.   Does your library have anything planned to raise public awareness about personal privacy rights and help library users make informed choices about their privacy?   Share your event with the Office for Intellectual Freedom at oif@ala.org.