Tag Archives: privacy

ALA welcomes Adobe action; greater attention to reader privacy concerns

“Today, Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke, co-chairs of the American Library Association (ALA) Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), released the following statement regarding the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software update: “Librarians have long been guardians of and advocates for reader privacy. The plain text transmission of reader data by Adobe Digital Editions over the internet was clearly a privacy violation for all users of the ADE 4.0 version software and demanded swift corrective action. (via ALA)

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Librarians Are Dedicated to User Privacy. The Tech They Have to Use Is Not.

“Adobe has made it extremely easy for unwanted eyes to read over the shoulders of library patrons. Earlier this month reports surfaced about how Adobe’s Digital Editions e-book software collects and transmits information about readers in plain text.* That insecure transmission allows the government, corporations, or potential hackers to intercept information about patron reading habits, including book title, author, publisher, subject, description, and every page read. But the Adobe scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Libraries sign contracts with technology companies to bring services to patrons all the time, and those contracts are not always favorable to library patrons. Whether it’s an agreement with an ISP to provide the library with Internet access, the publisher of a database of scholarly articles and primary source documents, or a children’s educational game vendor, these contracts are both commonplace and a relatively new development.” (via Slate.)

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Adobe responds to ALA on egregious data breach; some action expected by week of Oct. 20

“The American Library Association (ALA) decries confirmed reader data breaches by Adobe and calls for immediate corrective action to encrypt and protect reader information. The plain text transmission of reader data over the Internet that was first reported Oct. 7 presumably stretches back as far as the release of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) 4.0 in early September. The ADE e-book reader application is used by thousands of libraries and many tens of thousands of e-book readers around the globe. “People expect and deserve that their reading activities remain private, and libraries closely guard the confidentiality of library users’ records,” said ALA President Courtney Young. “The unencrypted online transmission of library reader data is not only egregious, it sidesteps state laws around the country that protect the privacy of library reading records. Further, this affects more than library users; it is a gross privacy violation for ALL users of Adobe Digital Editions 4.” (via ALA)

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Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons’ electronic privacy

“Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications — and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.” (via Boing Boing)

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Arizona bill would expand library privacy law

“A bill advancing in the Arizona Legislature would add protections for ebook readers under the state’s existing library privacy law.A Senate panel is expected to move the bill forward Monday. The House passed the measure in a 57-1 vote in early March.The measure seeks to include digital books under material protected by the state law that prohibits the disclosure of public library records.” (via AP)

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