Erasing words written in pencil

Google Quietly Rolls Out the Right to be Forgotten mechanism in the U.S.

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.

Screenshot of Vitagene Facebook ad

The Value of Private Health Information

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?

Freedom to Read Week

“My Head is Sort of Private”: The Twilight Saga as Privacy Parable

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!

Banned Books Week 2020: Censorship is a Dead End, Find Your Freedom to Read logo.

#BannedBooksWeek By the Numbers: Making Virtual-First Count

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.