Public records requests are a way for journalists and other interested parties to find out information about request for reconsideration forms that have been submitted to libraries and gain insight into book challenges that are happening at libraries near them. A legal debate in Colorado has raised the question of whether individuals submitting request for reconsideration forms are protected by library privacy laws or if their names and other identifying information is public record along with the rest of the request.
In April, Google quietly rolled out a policy expansion for U.S. citizens to request a removal of personal information from websites- information such as phone number, email address, or physical address, handwritten signatures, as well as non-consensual explicit or intimate personal images, involuntary fake pornography, personal content on websites with exploitative removal practices, select personally identifiable information (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search.
The book-banning controversy around Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl isn’t an intellectual freedom issue, but one of legacy and privacy. As we make decisions about what materials to include in which lessons and which libraries, it’s important to remember and honor the author’s wishes.
ALA and IMLS have collaborated on a long awaited project called the Privacy Field Guides. Each guide includes an introduction to the topic and several exercises for library workers to implement change within their library. All of these exercises have all been tested in the real-world too.
As big publishers increasingly become data brokers, libraries must take extra care to protect our patrons and researchers from surveillance that threatens academic freedom.
I suspect we will see more and more options to customize medical care and health efforts based on our DNA and other medical data, and we should carefully consider the potential privacy implications of these efforts, especially when they occur outside of the sanctity of a doctor’s office and are driven by a company who may have interests beyond our health. As I like to prompt my students to think about, what is the value of this information – to me and to others? And, given that value, who can/should I share it with?
Even in the US, though, we do allow restraint of the press in rare circumstances – national security is probably the most obvious. And, of course, the government doesn’t always tell us everything. I think most of us can agree that there are at least some circumstances where secrecy is warranted. Was the Tham Luang rescue one of them?
Celebrate Freedom to Read Week February 21st to the 27th by learning more about book challenges, catching up on freedom of expression news, or curling up with your favorite banned book! This post recognizes banned author Stephenie Meyer. While critics fault Twilight for negative depictions and poor writing, I prefer to think I enjoy the series for its nuanced exploration of privacy. Escape to the mossy forests of Forks and a time before high-speed internet, smartphones, and social media to explore the privacy themes in Twilight!
Among the many challenges of 2020, there is another challenge we’ve faced down in the past and will continue to face in the future: book challenges. Censorship doesn’t take a sick day – and book ban and challenge statistics reported by the Office of Intellectual Freedom prove it. But for the first time, our annual commemoration of the fight against book censorship and other content challenges went virtual-first. Inspired by the Harper’s Index, this post measures Banned Books Week 2020 by the numbers – and shows how intellectual freedom advocates made virtual-first count.
There is a massive amount of news, all day, everyday. You may have missed this, but I assure you it is important. In any other year, this would be the top news story for the day: The Justice Department brought an Antitrust Lawsuit against Google. Read more for a brief discussion on Antitrust Lawsuits from the 1890s to now!