Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Library is the ONE Place Where You Shouldn't Need to Worry About Your Privacy.

Unless you do something illegal. Or if you are stupid.

I just downloaded the free version of Blown to bits : your life, liberty, and happiness after the digital explosion by Abelson, Ledeen, and Lewis.

And as a pdf image, I can't search it, but I did a quick check for the word, "library," at Google and guess what? I didn't find it. Meaning that "library" appears, but not as a threat to privacy.

I see that the ALA is promoting the first-ever Choose Privacy Week, May 2-8, 2010. And they seriously believe that we, the users of the Internet, still have some privacy left that we have a choice to hang on to it.

I wrote about this a couple months ago, and quickly forgot about it. But now I'm reminded about how librarians want to incorporate social networking applications into every aspect of the library, from sharing book titles to commenting on library services. And I think that people already have more than enough places to lose their privacy that I feel that libraries shouldn't join them.

The ALA Privacy page says that libraries should be "moderating a community dialogue" on privacy. Well, I'm doing it right here:
Social networking sites might trick you into giving away your privacy, and search engines may track every search you type, and your cell phone will reveal every place you travel, but the library never tells.
Read. Look. Watch. The Library doesn't tell. Unless you look really foolish doing it. Then, yes, we will fire up Twitter and tell everyone. That's a promise.