A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

illustration of an eye

Big Brother Through the Library

On Monday April 3, 2017 President Trump signed a bill repealing internet privacy rules.

eye in a camera lens

Collecting and Destroying Data? Preventing Government Surveillance

Libraries have a lot of uses for big data. It can reveal useful information for librarians, archivists, researchers, publishers, and authors. What does this set of mobile analytics data tell us about users and their behavior?

hand parting blinds

Librarians Stand for Right to Privacy and Freedom of Speech

“Privacy is the right to a free mind. Without privacy, you can’t have anything for yourself. Saying you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”[2] Those powerful words reverberate what librarians have been preaching for so long.

computer with a chain around it

How Public Libraries Play a Role in the State of Privacy in America

It’s been a little over two and a half years since Edward Snowden’s revelations of the National Security Agency’s surveillance of American’s online and phone communications and records. Have American opinions of privacy been affected? And how has it shaped online behavior? Since the June 2013 Snowden leaks, the Pew Research Center began an in-depth study on how Americans view privacy and sharing personal information. Pew’s recently published report The State of Privacy in America reveals surprising results—and some interesting opportunities for public libraries to get involved in privacy and surveillance discussions.

opt out

Opting Out of Online Ads

If you are like me, you probably ignore the emails from Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites updating users about new privacy policies. With recent news about Verizon and AT&T tracking users with supercookies and the data breaches across retail chains, it seems like we cannot escape companies and their invasion of our privacy. Recently, I took a quick look at that Facebook email and noticed something interesting. Part of the email read, “You can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance. You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook.”

Clouds

Every Cloud Leaks a Little

A recent media scandal involved compromising celebrity photos allegedly hacked from the cloud via the celeb’s cell phones and then distributed to the general public. Shortly after this story broke, my local weather included rain. The jokes flew: every cloud eventually leaks a little.

computer with lock and chain

Keeping Your Personal Info Safe

A recent article in Technology Review[i] reported an app developer in Bulgaria is working on rewriting the Android OS so that it gives requesting apps false data. Unknown to many users, some apps require access to your personal contacts and location information before they will operate, despite having no apparent reason to access this data.