New York

Continuing the conversation about data privacy

  • 1.  Continuing the conversation about data privacy

    Posted 02-14-2019 08:49
    Edited by Stacey DiFazio 02-14-2019 16:42
      |   view attached
    So much food for thought at last evening's Data Privacy panel!

    Two things resonated with me most:

    1. Bonnie Tijerina's point that even if we don't care about data privacy personally, it is absolutely our job to care about it for our library communities; and
    2. Daniel Kahn Gillmor's point:
    "To say you don't care about data privacy because you don't have anything to hide is like saying you don't care about free speech because you don't have anything to say."

    What were your takeaways?

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    Stacey DiFazio MLIS
    Secretary | SLA New York Chapter
    Archivist | SLA New York Chapter
    Member | SLA Government Information Division
    Member | SLA Solo Librarians Division
    www.linkedin.com/in/staceydifazio
    https://twitter.com/DiFazioStacey
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  • 2.  RE: Continuing the conversation about data privacy

    Posted 02-15-2019 08:50
    My big takeaway, with a bit of historical context thrown in:  
    • When a disturbed young man from Colorado shot President Reagan in 1981, the FBI went to the public library of his home city and obtained the circulation records for books he had recently taken out.  They didn't present a subpoena.  The librarians complied anyway.  I found that chilling. 
    • In 1987, the FBI undertook the Library Awareness Program by asking public and some university librarians to aid in identifying "suspicious" online activity.  The board of SLA voted to support it until the membership angrily demanded at the 1988 annual business meeting that they reverse this decision . Fortunately, they did.  
    • Librarians were outraged at the Patriot Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-56) that gave the government certain rights to patron information that many library users assume is private. ALA monitors this closely.  
    Fortunately, since then many public libraries and universities now strip away patron information from a circulation record once a book has been returned for privacy reasons.  

    However, at Wednesday night's meeting Bonnie suggested that unless a privacy provision is negotiated into the contracts with major vendors such as ProQuest, Ebsco, Cengage, LexisNexis, Elsevier etc. there is no guarantee that your search statements and the amount of time you spend reading a page of an e-book are private. While that may not make your blood run cold, now imagine the FBI presenting a subpoena to that vendor for your search histories, or those of the entire group of researchers on a particular project..  

    That has my attention.





  • 3.  RE: Continuing the conversation about data privacy

    Posted 02-15-2019 08:51
    My big takeaway, with a bit of historical context thrown in:  
    • When a disturbed young man from Colorado shot President Reagan in 1981, the FBI went to the public library of his home city and obtained the circulation records for books he had recently taken out.  They didn't present a subpoena.  The librarians complied anyway.  I found that chilling. 
    • In 1987, the FBI undertook the Library Awareness Program by asking public and some university librarians to aid in identifying "suspicious" online activity.  The board of SLA voted to support it until the membership angrily demanded at the 1988 annual business meeting that they reverse this decision . Fortunately, they did.  
    • Librarians were outraged at the Patriot Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-56) that gave the government certain rights to patron information that many library users assume is private. ALA monitors this closely.  
    Fortunately, since then many public libraries and universities now strip away patron information from a circulation record once a book has been returned for privacy reasons.  
    However, at Wednesday night's meeting Bonnie suggested that unless a privacy provision is negotiated into the contracts with major vendors such as ProQuest, Ebsco, Cengage, LexisNexis, Elsevier etc. there is no guarantee that your search statements and the amount of time you spend reading a page of an e-book are private. While that may not make your blood run cold, now imagine the FBI presenting a subpoena to that vendor for your search histories, or those of the entire group of researchers on a particular project..  
    That has my attention.


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    Anne Mintz
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  • 4.  RE: Continuing the conversation about data privacy

    Posted 02-15-2019 09:30
    I wish we'd had more time to hear from Bonnie about her experience in working with a knowledge center and keeping records.  In my environment, most of the activity is not executed by our "patrons" but by the research team who fulfills their information requests.  ​We are, however, keeping records of the requests submitted by our members.  I'm curious to learn more about how this extends to corporate information centers.

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    Stacie Calabrese
    she/her/hers
    SLA-NY President, 2019

    American Association of Advertising Agencies
    Manager - Research Services
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  • 5.  RE: Continuing the conversation about data privacy

    Posted 02-15-2019 09:40
    Thanks for sharing your takeaways, Stacey.
    I thought the event was excellent and am very interested in the Privacy Advocate training at Library Freedom Institute that Lucia Cedeira Serantes mentioned.

    Tom Nielsen