Library Confidential Protecting Patron Privacy

Patron Privacy and Third Party Vendors

The Santa Cruz Public Library is putting it all out there for their patrons when it comes to their privacy in using third party vendor products. And, we're taking a page from their book. Sara Dallas has been working with all of the major vendors that SALS libraries use to obtain a security survey of the data the vendors collect and how is it protected. This information will be shared on the SALS website once it has been compiled.

Protecting Your Online Presence

Having an online presence of some sort is pretty much mandatory these days whether it's personal social media or related to one's job. Potential employers are looking at social media as part of the interview process; your digital presence or lack there of can tell a lot about you.

We all present a version of ourselves depending on the situation in real life, like being at work, or a bar, or at a kid's party. To some extent this too can be done with social media by using different platforms for work and personal.

But, privacy on social media is a bit of an illusion at best; no matter how you choose to set up your social networks online, anything can be made public by a hack. Want to know what you've shared with Facebook? Download your Facebook data here.

Scared by what you just found out you've shared? Check out the Privacy Badger browser extension. Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.

The Privacy Paradox

We care about our privacy and yet most of us are unwilling to stop using our phones or Facebook or Google. We want to protect our online activity and yet we cannot spare the hours it would take to read the privacy policies of every website we visit. This is the privacy paradox. Learn more about what you can do to protect your digital privacy here.

Facial Recognition Technology: More Questions than Answers

Facial recognition is changing the way crimes are solved and how we access our phones, our bank accounts and who knows what else in the future. It can even be used to diagnose disease according to research being done at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

But, as with any technology that makes our lives easier, there is the potential for abuse. Governments could one day use facial recognition to identify peaceful protesters creating a chilling effect on free speech. The technology isn't flawless; if law enforcement were to rely heavily on facial recognition, what would this mean? Does facial recognition technology usage need to be regulated? Do we need to begin to consider protecting the privacy of our very faces?


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