Privacy Tool Kit

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Introduction

The first Privacy Tool Kit was created by ALA in 2005, and many changes have occurred in the intervening years, most notably the explosion of technology and social media use which has impacted the privacy of users in all types of libraries. Technology is a blessing and a curse.  It has provided opportunities like user-created content and interactivity.  Library users are now not only consuming information, they are creating it. Many barriers to access have fallen, but others, like filters, have arisen.  Governments and corporations can now capture user information and use it for various purposes—often without the user’s knowledge.  The danger of invasion of personal privacy is a very real concern and often challenges existing library state privacy and confidentiality laws. In some cases, the existing Library Bill of Rights and Interpretations can be applied, but in others, they need to be amplified.  In too many cases, busy librarians are not making the connections between new technology and the threats to users in the form of invasion of privacy. This threat to privacy stifles intellectual freedom and the freedom to read. Despite technology, the desire to protect library users’ privacy is strong. The current issues and threats, potential solutions, and resources can be found in the Privacy Tool Kit.

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