New video overview of #youthprivacy conference!

For the last day of Choose Privacy Week 2011, we are pleased to share a video overview of the ALA Privacy and Youth Conference, featuring many of our attendees and speakers sharing their thoughts and reflections on the event.

American Library Association (ALA) Youth and Privacy Conference from 20K Films on Vimeo.

We again thank our conference attendees and supporters, including the Open Society Institute, for making this event possible and, ultimately, such a tremendous success. We will be harnessing their insights as we move forward with strategies for reaching young people about privacy issues, and we look forward to expanding that circle to include even more partners and experts, as we continue our work to spread the privacy message far and wide.

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Frances Jacobson Harris on next steps for libraries and youth privacy

At the close of the American Library Association’s Privacy and Youth conference held in March, participants were asked to gather in small groups to address next steps. We had spent time explicating the issues and airing our concerns. Now was the time to recommend action. Here are some of the themes that emerged from our discussions.

1. Make it clear that youth privacy is a library issue. Several participants noted that privacy issues were a hard sell in their libraries. And it’s true – we often find ourselves in the position of trying to convince our own ranks that privacy is a core professional value and that we can and should integrate issues of privacy into much of what we do. But the impulse to protect privacy may sometimes feel in conflict with other important professional principles. For example, as a school librarian, I have had to put enormous focus on the allied youth rights issues of information access and freedom of speech. I’ve been all about opening information and communication doors in both directions – in as well as out – perhaps at the expense of privacy concerns. My own light bulb moment came during the conference when Cory Doctorow opined that “librarians speak with enormous moral authority,” and that a person can’t say bad things about librarians without “sounding kind of like a jerk.” The reputation he describes cannot be bought; it gives us a golden ticket to take the high ground on privacy issues and highlights the role of libraries as (physical and virtual) centers of civic engagement. The challenge lies in determining how to promote use of the information resources and communication technologies that empower and enable young people, while also giving them the tools and understanding they need to protect their own privacy and the privacy of others.

2. Enlarge current notions of youth privacy. Privacy is not just a Facebook issue for young people. If we truly want to empower youth to take charge of their privacy, we need to talk about all manner of threats. The effort needs to go beyond “think before you post on Facebook” to include “count the number of surveillance cameras at your school, the mall, the places you hang out” and “ask what information your school’s monitoring software collects about you.” We need to make sure young people understand that if a product is free, it generally means they are the product – their personal information is being traded in exchange for “free” tools or services.

3. Cast a wide net. In my small group we spent quite a bit of time trying to define the audience and the scope for library-driven privacy initiatives, finally coming to the conclusion that an effective and sustainable effort has to be multifaceted.  No one-size-fits-all strategy will meet the needs of our varying audiences and communities. Rather, our programs must employ multiple strategies and target an array of different audiences and circumstances. With shrinking budgets and staffing, online access to privacy information will be essential. We need  resources that educators and others can draw on at will. Efforts also need to consider the needs of vulnerable populations like homeless people, new immigrants, and low income patrons. Finally, we also need to keep in mind that individuals and groups may have different perceptions of privacy and that targeted resources should reflect those distinctions.

So – what next?

The approach. Participants universally agreed that simply lecturing young people about privacy could only be counterproductive. Instead, they should be given opportunities to talk to one another directly, share their stories (personal stories can be so powerful!), and create their own vocabulary around the issue. Speaker Nathan Wright noted that the term “privacy” isn’t necessarily in teens’ vocabulary, but that they do talk about feeling safe, in control of a situation, trusting certain people and groups, and feeling an understood or implied sense of intimacy. When we (adults) hear phrases like “avoiding drama” and “minding your own business” instead of “privacy,” we need to recognize the link and help make it explicit. We can also build credibility for our own efforts by approaching the privacy topic through our strengths in defending First Amendment and information access issues. Finally, we lose any ground we might gain if we use fear tactics; instead, our emphasis needs to be on giving young people the tools to become critical consumers.

The team. Privacy is a many-player endeavor. Librarians don’t have to go it alone, nor do they need to reinvent the wheel. The Office for Intellectual Freedom set the precedent for ALA by inviting other organizations already engaged in privacy work to participate in this conference and by maintaining relationships with partners. At the implementation level, librarians should first check resources developed by the likes of ConnectSafely.com (and its sister sites), the Internet Education Foundation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, OnGuardOnline (a federal government and technology industry collaboration), and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada before creating their own from scratch. Local organizations and social service groups may be interested in collaborating with the library. Commercial partners might also add popular appeal (and dollars!) to a campaign. Just make sure that partner organizations share the same values about privacy issues.

Parents are certainly key players. Programs that are directed to parents can initiate a trickle-down effect, particularly if accompanied by family discussion guides and other tools that help one generation talk to another. Hook parents and caregivers with child safety materials, then move on to the more granular issues. Let parents know they can communicate with their children without violating their privacy. Schools, both private and public, are an essential part of the team. Educators can have a huge impact on youth privacy – for good or for ill – so they must be brought on board sooner rather than later. Some school librarians don’t understand the privacy issues with library circulation records, let alone with Facebook. Many teachers haven’t devoted much thought to the issues at all. Privacy instruction can’t be sold as another add-on, but should and can be integrated into existing curricula and programs.

The methods. Here are but a few of the specific strategies mentioned during the conference. Each one assumes that the messaging is tailored to its audience and is designed appropriately for its delivery mechanism.

  • After-school discussions, at school or in the public library
  • “How-to” privacy settings workshops, led by peers, librarians, or teachers
  • Toolkits – infinitely customizable for a multitude of audiences
  • Bite-sized handouts – bookmarks and calling cards
  • Privacy workshop road shows
  • Youth-produced videos on privacy themes
  • “How-to” video tutorials on privacy settings on the ALA YouTube channel
  • Privacy calendar with reminders to update privacy settings and change passwords
  • An app with “Did you know?” or “Tip of the week” features
  • Public service announcements and READ-style posters that feature celebrities
  • Social media delivery, from Twitter to YouTube, targeted to diverse audiences
  • Handouts (and other media) that address privacy issues related to ebooks and circulation records
  • High quality content on the privacyrevolution.org website
  • Video, poetry, and writing contests on privacy themes
  • Research grants to study privacy and youth issues
  • Focus and discussion groups on privacy issues
  • “Privacy IQ” Survey
  • ALA Emerging Leaders involvement
  • Continuing education and privacy curriculum for teachers and librarians
  • Book or film discussions on privacy-related themes
  • Logo and other visual identity material
  • A list of “Top Ten” questions to ask before posting on a social network site

I’d like to end this blog entry with a quote from one participant’s post-conference personal reflections:

“I left the conference feeling more strongly than ever that we need to focus on education, not protection, when it comes to young people and privacy. We want to provide young people with the resources they need to make informed decisions for themselves, NOT to limit their information and choices under the guise of safety. This is true both for issues of online identities/digital footprints AND for broader issues of surveillance from schools, parents, and the government.”

Hear, hear!

Frances Jacobson Harris is a school librarian at University Laboratory High School, and Professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She blogs at http://www.uni.illinois.edu/libraryblog

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Point/counterpoint on parental monitoring

Continuing to highlight reflections from ALA’s Privacy and Youth Conference for Choose Privacy Week, today we feature two articles that provide a point/counterpoint on the contentious issue of parental monitoring.

Conference speaker Cory Doctorow took a strong stance against monitoring technologies, or “nannyware,” as he called it. This sparked discussion and debate among attendees, with strong feelings on both sides. As with so many privacy issues today, parental monitoring is not a question of “right vs. wrong.” Instead it inhabits the challenging, gray area of “right vs. right” — where parents are right to be involved in protecting their children, and privacy activists are right to advocate protection of young people’s freedoms.

We are delighted to share perspectives from Sarah Darer Littman, an author and parent, on why she believes proactive parenting is both important and necessary; and from Alex Koroknay-Palicz, Executive Director of the National Youth Rights Association, on why he believes parental surveillance undermines trust and fails to keep kids safe.

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Point/counterpoint: Alex Koroknay-Palicz on parental surveillance

Privacy is not a luxury. Nor is it a threat to safety.

Ten years ago America was attacked in a shockingly brutal and violent way. Thousands of innocent people died and millions more feared for their safety. Pledging to protect us from terrorists, the government passed the Patriot Act, which greatly expanded the authority of the government to keep tabs on us. We were told this law would keep us safe. We were told that, while privacy and freedom are important virtues, the world is different, everything changed after 9/11 – and these virtues are simply too risky now.

A debate ensued. On one side was the government, which was working hard to keep us safe and protect our lives from attack; and on the other side were activists, who believed their selfish desire to check out books about making bombs was more important than the safety of hundreds of millions of Americans. At least that’s the way the debate was framed in some quarters. The other side framed it as a battle between a tyrannical government, who created a panic so they could amass more power for themselves, and freedom fighters who were out to save our democracy and our Constitution from these despots.

As with all things, the reality was a bit more complex. But complex, nuanced arguments don’t make good sound bites and don’t attract ratings. Both sides jockeyed to frame the debate and the arguments became simplified. In the end the debate became reduced to a choice between freedom and security. Which do you want? Pick one.

The debate about whether young people should have privacy is no different. One side will tell you that there are many sick, twisted pedophiles out there intent on abducting and molesting our children. They tell us that parents only want to keep their kids safe and thus invade their privacy to protect them from these threats. Back in the day, sure, young people could have their privacy, but that was before the Internet, before sexual predators, before all the dangers we see out there – the world is different now and privacy is simply too risky. Parents are only looking out for the best interests of their children.

I’d like to respond with a bit of nuance. The truth is that we don’t have to pick between freedom and security. It is a false choice. Freedom and security aren’t exclusive ideals when it comes to national security, and they aren’t exclusive ideals when it comes to keeping our kids safe. Privacy is not a threat to our safety, and it isn’t some luxury we are only entitled to when things are calm and peaceful. Americans have a right to both freedom and security – Americans of all ages.

Since I’m comfortable with nuance and complexity, I can safely say that the other side of this debate is right. There ARE lots of bad, dangerous perverts out there who are a serious threat to our children. Just as there really are lots of bad, dangerous terrorists out there who are plotting to kill us. The other side is right that parents have pure motives and are seeking the best way to keep their children safe, just as the government passed the Patriot Act out of a genuine concern to keep us safe.  There are no enemies or despots or “evildoers” in this debate. Yet I strongly dispute the notion that privacy is a luxury of tranquil times or that invading privacy will keep us safe. In fact, I believe that invading privacy not only makes us less free, it makes us less safe.

Catering to the fears of frantic parents has become big business. An anxious parent can now buy spy cameras to put in their children’s room, or GPS devices to put in their backpack or clothing to track their every move, or monitoring software to observe (and record) every single thing their kid does on their computer. Low tech parents still have the option of regularly searching through their kid’s possessions, or reading their diaries or removing the door from their bedroom. Parents are increasingly requiring regular drug tests of their teens, and tracking devices can even monitor a person’s heartbeat and vitals at all times, so a concerned parent can tell whether their son or daughter got excited or scared that day. A new device currently under development pairs that heartbeat monitor with a camera and audio, so a parent can see and hear everything their child does, no matter where they are.  And you thought the Patriot Act was invasive.

Parents can now track, monitor and observe every moment of every day, both inside and outside of their kids. So how could I possibly say that this makes them less safe? Surely a parent can see any threat to their children and intervene in time to save them. Perhaps. But to what end?

We need to ask ourselves, what is the point of parenting in the first place? What role do they play in society? If you say their job is to raise children, I’m going to disagree with you. The job of a parent isn’t to raise children – it is to raise adults.

In recent years, with the rise of “helicopter parenting,” many parents are failing to teach their kids the most important skill of all – how to get along without them. We are seeing a pervasive problem of infantilization across the nation, with young people unwilling or unable to take care of themselves independently. These young adults (some into their 30’s) are increasingly living at home and are relying on their parents more than any previous generation.

When parents hover over their kid’s shoulder at every moment of every day, with or without technology, their teens have no space to learn responsibility and no room to become independent citizens. If you constantly rush in to protect them from every danger then they will never learn how to protect themselves. Your son or daughter will either be stunted in their development and cling to you for protection and direction, or they will be thrown to the wolves with no ability to recognize threats or protect themselves from them. This will make them less safe.

Those youth who accept this surveillance won’t really distinguish between a parent spying on their every move “for their own good” and an FBI agent spying on their every move “for their own good.” By removing from our children the expectation of privacy, we are raising adults who have no expectation of privacy. These adults, these voters, simply won’t object to increasingly invasive efforts by corporations and governments to monitor their lives. Thanks to invasive parents, it is the only life they’ve ever known.

But all teens are different.  Some acquiesce to the constant surveillance of the helicopter parent and others fight back. Those who do will, I can assure you, find a way around efforts to monitor them. Teens are much smarter than we give them credit for. For these teens, parental spying breaks down the bonds of trust. They will hide their life from you, not share their hopes, their dreams and their fears. More troubling for the anxious parent, they will not come to you for help or advice when they face dangers in their life. These teens, as opposed to their infantilized peers, will grow up resenting their parents.

Parenting experts say that open dialogue and trust are vital to healthy relationships. Going through kids’ things and tracking their every movement (whether online or off) poisons that trust and breaks down open channels of communication. Most people would never put a tracking device on their spouse, and there is no justification to treat your son or daughter any differently.

The extent of surveillance now taken for granted in the family is unprecedented. Some may say that the world is different now – more dangerous now – and dangerous times require different approaches to keep children safe. This is nothing more than a myth based on fear, not fact.

The reality is that 2009, the most recent year we data for, was the safest this country has seen since 1968. Crime has plummeted in the last 20 years, yet there is very little understanding of just how safe the country is now. Fear of crime seems to be increasing just as actual crime is declining. Yes, there is still danger. Yes, there are creepy guys who troll chat rooms for underage girls and we need to be vigilant, but there is no unprecedented crisis that we need to use unprecedented surveillance techniques to prevent.

Teaching our sons and daughters how to recognize threats to their safety and how to avoid them is a better tactic to keep them safe. Privacy and safety are not mutually exclusive ideals. We can be secure and free – in fact, there is no other alternative.

Alex Koroknay-Palicz is Executive Director of the National Youth Rights Association. Learn more about NYRA at http://www.youthrights.org

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Point/counterpoint: Sarah Darer Littman on proactive parenting

When my daughter was in 5th grade, one of her friends, angry that she hadn’t been invited on a trip to the city, created a website called “Ihate_______”(insertmydaughter’sname). I didn’t find out what was going on until the situation had been going on for well over a month and a half, by which time my daughter had responded to the friend with a series of emails that became equally nasty in tone. Other girls in the class became involved and were just as nasty online.

One night, I asked my daughter what was bothering her and she finally broke down and told me. I had a long discussion with her with her about what had transpired. After investigating the facts, even though she had initially been the victim, I revoked her Internet privileges for several weeks. This might seem harsh, but my rationale – which I explained in our discussion – was as follows: the way she’d responded in those emails was not the way I’d brought her up to behave and by retaliating instead of coming to me, she hadn’t used good judgment.

I’d expected a fight when I took away her computer but she handed it over without an argument. To be honest, I think she was relieved.

What blew my mind, after talking to the parents of the other kids involved, was the level of denial. One mom said, “Oh, but they’re such good kids, I can’t believe they’d do anything nasty.” I was sorely tempted to forward her some of the emails her darling had been sending to the creator of the website. They contained words that would have made a sailor blush.

I’m not saying these aren’t good kids. They are all “good kids”. But what I’ve learned is that even good kids – the ones who are polite to their friends’ parents, make honor roll, volunteer for all the “right” causes – can behave badly online.

Unfortunately, many adults are no different, as you can see by reading the comments section on any newspaper website. But take, for instance, a teen girl who sends a sexy picture to her boyfriend – the consequences of that decision for both the sender and the recipient (and any future recipients if they break up and the picture is forwarded) are serious.

I never wanted to be blindsided by my kids’ online activities again. Back in 2003, I’d taken part in the Citizens Police Academy run by our local police department. After this incident, I called the detective in charge of cyber crime and asked him for advice. He recommended the monitoring software that I’ve been using ever since.

I told both my children I was putting the software on their laptops. It’s never been a matter of me being sneaky and conducting undercover surveillance. I respect my kids too much for that. I said that it was a condition of them being on the Internet until they were legally old enough to take responsibility for their own actions. Because let’s face it – I’m the Parent with a capital P. I’m the one who is legally and financially responsible for anything that they do until they reach majority.

My use of monitoring software has always been part of the wider conversation with my kids about online use, etiquette and safety. It’s helped prevent at least one potentially dangerous situation and created countless teachable moments about what is and is not appropriate to do online.

There’s controversy about the use of parental monitoring software. Cory Doctorow believes it is teaching kids to believe that surveillance in general – and thus government surveillance – is acceptable, in order to keep them safe.

I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, when I came home from the ALA Privacy and Youth Conference in Chicago, where Doctorow had put forth this argument in a Skype presentation, I told my son that apparently I was teaching him to accept government surveillance. He gave me that over-the-glasses look and said with the kind of snark that teens deliver best, “Oh yes! I believe Government Surveillance is Great!”

I’m a political columnist as well as a YA author, and have discussed the Patriot Act with him ad nauseum. I’ve read my kids the hate mail I’ve received from angry readers after some of my columns were published, the ones that called me an “America-hating Terrorist lover”, or telling me that I was “using the American Way of Life to Destroy the American Way of Life and the Rest of Western Civilization in the Process”. They’ve had to deal with us having an unlisted phone number after I started getting nasty letters at our house, and as a single mother I became nervous.

It all comes down to THE CONVERSATIONS. I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t have a respectful and open relationship with your children, no amount of technology is going to keep them safe. If you are a “helicopter parent” who worries about everything, then you should not be using this software, because the temptation to analyze every conversation will drive both you and your child crazy. It works in our family because the only time I talk about what I might have seen in the reports is if it is something unsafe or there has been a netiquette transgression.

At the Youth and Privacy Conference, someone asked if I’d ever read my daughter’s diary. “Of course not!” I replied. They couldn’t see the difference between reading my daughter’s diary and using monitoring software.

Here’s the difference and I think it’s REALLY important: My daughter’s diary is in a notebook somewhere in her disgustingly messy room. But that room is contained in my house, which is protected by a security system that is linked to our local police department, and I know personally everyone who comes in and out of that room.

But the moment she turns on her laptop the situation changes. The entire world gains access – any stranger can enter. And because my daughter feels safe because she is in her room, at home, she’ll feel more comfortable interacting with them than she would if she were at a shopping mall or on a city street or in a dark alley.

Hence the monitoring software. I view it as the online version of the burglar alarm I have to protect my home.

My son is turning 18 soon and he’s getting a new computer for college. He knows that the new computer will be free of monitoring software, and he also knows that he will now be legally accountable for himself and his actions. No Mom to fall back on.

There are plenty of fires happening offline when you have teenagers that you have to deal with reactively on a day-to-day basis – but the Internet is just too big of a risk to take. It’s like an elephant. It never forgets. And one little mistake can travel worldwide.

Being a pro-active parent online gives my kids the room to make their mistakes in their offline lives, where there is more privacy and the consequences for slipping up are more contained.

Sarah Darer Littman is an award-winning author of books for young people. Learn more about Sarah and her writing at http://sarahdarerlittman.com

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Student perspectives on privacy

One of the most enlightening portions of ALA’s Privacy and Youth Conference, according to many attendees, was our discussion with a panel of local students. We heard from young men and women, from urban and suburban schools, sharing their perspectives on privacy as students in college and high school. The 15-minute panel discussion can be viewed below:

ALA Privacy and Youth Conference: High School Student Panel Discussion from 20K Films on Vimeo.

After the discussion, students engaged with other conference attendees in a lively Q&A, which is available in its entirety (approximately 40 minutes) here:

ALA Privacy and Youth Conference: High School Student Panel Discussion Q&A from 20K Films on Vimeo.

The student panel helped ground our conference discussions with some much-needed real world insight. It also gave the young people in attendance a chance to think and reflect on their own privacy attitudes, assumptions, and actions. Students shared the following sentiments after their conference experience:

  • My advice to others is, “If it’s your business, you don’t need to tell the world.”
  • Putting what you are doing on Facebook or Twitter is not safe.
  • Everything we talked about at the Choose Privacy Week conference I already knew, but it did re-open my eyes for my own privacy. It is important.
  • People need to know that information should be private, and there are people out in the world acting crazy. If you are putting your info up, they will come for you.

One student summarized her experience quite eloquently:

After attending the Privacy and Youth Conference, I have begun to think more seriously about my privacy; not just on the internet, but in other situations as well. I’ve started to ask, “Why do they need that information about me?” The world does not need to know everything about me, yet there are so many circumstances where I am prompted to share personal information that does not seem necessary at all. The Privacy Conference and Choose Privacy Week have made me more aware of not only what I choose to share, but that I am entitled to the control over my own privacy. I would encourage others to become more conscious of how much they reveal about themselves and exactly what is safe to share.

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Cory Doctorow’s radical proposition for libraries

Speaking to ALA’s Privacy and Youth Conference from London via Skype, Cory Doctorow offered attendees a thought-provoking assessment of the privacy landscape for young people today. His “radical proposition” that libraries become islands of networked privacy best practices — places where young people are educated and empowered to take charge of their digital lives — provided provocative fodder for conference participants’ discussions. Do libraries have a role to play in educating youth about the privacy violations they face at our own institutions? In their own homes? Should we be teaching kids to jailbreak? How can we document the problems and inefficacy of internet filtering technologies, which so often stifle young people’s intellectual freedom and compromise their privacy?

We’re pleased to share Cory Doctorow’s talk in its entirety, along with his Q&A session with our audience, below. The 22-minute presentation is first, followed by 30 minutes of questions and discussion.

ALA Privacy Conference: Interview with Cory Doctorow from 20K Films on Vimeo.

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Welcome to Choose Privacy Week!

Thank you for visiting our site and we urge you to become part of our community of supporters. We focus on privacy and libraries, but we are reaching out to all – young and old, urban and rural, library users or not. If you aren’t a library user now, we hope you will become a regular visitor and learn more about how U.S. libraries protect your personal rights to read, search, and ask – and to do so privately!

Librarians firmly hold to the principle that freedom to read is not possible if the government is looking over your shoulder. We thank the Open Society Institute for their confidence that libraries are the perfect places to teach and practice privacy! Because of OSI’s support, we are able to celebrate Choose Privacy Week during the first week in May – creating public awareness and programming on privacy and libraries.

Each of us encounters more and more numerous breaches of personal privacy today, whether it’s with our cell phone records, grocery store coupons, airport scanners, or library circulation records. All of these small invasions lead to the creation of an overall “surveillance society” which is counter to U.S. Constitutional principles and to the way Americans want to live. One would have to become a hermit to avoid all invasions of personal privacy – no checking account, no health insurance, no mortgage.  But with knowledge of how data is collected and used, you can make choices. In your doctor’s office there is some information you are not required to give. If you use a credit card at a store, you might consider using cash when you discover that they will profile your age, class, income, and size with collected data.

Privacy and Youth

The 2011 Choose Privacy Week is focused on young people and privacy. After listening to students over the past two years, I am convinced that we need to reach them where they live – on social networks, in class, in shopping malls, constantly in motion. Their lives depend on technology that offers incredible freedoms but demands a price. More often than not, that price includes some significant compromises on personal privacy.

Thanks to OSI and the American Library Association, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom held a two-day invitational conference on Privacy and Youth, March 24-25, 2011. Over forty individuals attended, including researchers, teachers, librarians, and other privacy experts. And most importantly, we listened to students from local Chicago high schools, and representatives from the National Youth Rights Association. We heard Cory Doctorow, the novelist, blogger, and privacy advocate (Skyped in from London!) engage with attendees on the surveillance society with cameras on every street corner – and how we got there. We heard from a Muslim woman who was hassled at airport security. You will see clips from this marvelous conference posted here in the next few days and beyond.

We created a privacy community through this conference – a group of thoughtful individuals who share concerns, questions, and insights about privacy and youth. Though our time together in person was all-too-brief, this blog will showcase some of the many discussions, ideas, and work products to come out of the ALA Privacy and Youth Conference. Stay tuned as we mobilize, add more members to our group, and seek out new ways for libraries to engage with young people on privacy issues today!

Yours for the Freedom to Read Privately,

Barbara M. Jones, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

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Welcome to Privacy and Youth

The 2011 Privacy and Youth Conference seeks to identify how to best to reach young people with messages about privacy, with the help of student participants.

For over three years the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association has been focused on the issue of libraries and privacy awareness, thanks to a grant from the Open Society Institute.  We are very proud of our achievements thus far.  Our experience has convinced us to focus our efforts in 2011 on developing strategies for how best to deliver the privacy message to young people.  The future of privacy advocacy and protections in the United States really depends on young people’s awareness of the long-term importance of personal privacy protections (particularly regarding use of the Internet and social media), and how government surveillance of citizens’ activities poses a chilling threat to our nation’s future.  Libraries are ideal places for youth to learn about privacy and see it in action, given our long history of protecting the freedom to read.

We hope this blog will provide opportunities for reflection and discussion about privacy and youth.

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