7 Guides in 7 Days:
Day 6 – Privacy Policies

Privacy, Privacy Education

By the IFC Privacy Subcommittee

Data Privacy Day is on January 28. It’s a great reminder (or nudge) to spruce up your library privacy practices. We’ve got the perfect tools to get you started (and with minimal effort), too. We’ll be sharing 7 privacy field guides in 7 days.

What are the Privacy Field Guides?

The Institute of Museum and Library Services, in partnership with the American Library Association, sponsored the creation of the Privacy Field Guides. They contain practical, hands-on exercises for you to create a more privacy-focused library. They are designed for academic, public, and school libraries of all types. Any library worker can benefit from using the guides, and we know you will find at least one action you personally can take to improve library privacy.

There are currently 7 guides available for free via printable PDFs or an interactive website. You can also buy the book version. We’ll be highlighting one per day with you. We’ll go over the following:

  • Where can you find it?
  • Who’s it for?
  • What’s covered?
  • Why should you check it out?

Day 6 – Privacy Policies

Where can you find it?

The printable PDF is available in the privacy section of the ALA website. It’s also available on the interactive website.

Who’s it for?

Does your library have a privacy policy? Do you read vendor privacy policies before you sign a contract with them? If you answered, “no”; we recommend this field guide. If you answered, “yes”, we still recommend this field guide because you might find tips on improving your library’s privacy policy or how to get through a vendor policy and understand it.

Privacy policies tell library users what data is collected about them, their data rights, and how that data is used, shared, stored, and deleted.

What’s covered?

  • How to read a privacy policy, including commonly used phrases and terms
  • How to recognize red flags
  • How to write your policy and in a way that your users will understand it

Why should you check it out?

The information and exercises in “Writing in Plain Language” will make your policy accessible to your users without sacrificing effectiveness.

What’s next?

On Day 7, we’ll share details about the “Vendors and Privacy” field guide.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee‘s Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in technology (in cooperation with the Library Information Technology Association (LITA)), politics and legislation (in cooperation with the Committee on Legislation (COL)), as well as social and cultural trends that impact individual privacy and confidentiality, both in libraries and the wider world.   It is charged with identifying privacy needs and resources for librarians and library users; proposing action on resolutions, policies, and guidelines addressing privacy, confidentiality, and data security; developing educational, informational, and promotional projects addressing privacy, confidentiality, and data security issues; and collaborating with other member groups and organizations within and without ALA on matters within its charge.

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