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Choose Privacy Week

April 30, 2012

Privacy: freedom from the attention of others. It seems simple enough. I’m entitled to not being spied on through my windows or having my identity stolen, right? Yes, but there is also much more to it, especially in our digital age. The word privacy has become a staple of digital dealings, from purchasing a new game online to registering for college. Every institution has a privacy policy, but we’ve grown comfortable with the word privacy and sometimes assume it encompasses any act of handing out or stealing our name, date of birth, address, and/or social security number. But, it’s so much more than just that nowadays in our digital age, and I’ve committed this assumption too.

Next week, May 1 through May 7, is Choose Privacy Week, sponsored by the American Library Association.

How often do you think of your privacy? I know I only think of mine (as a glancing thought) when I’m entering a credit card number to make an online payment. I never thought of my personal information as being: how I search the Internet (companies can use this for advertisement purposes), my Facebook posts, my emails, the RFID (radio frequency identification) card I carry around in my pocket, and the books I check out at the Library as viable options for privacy infringement.

I’m able to upload my photos from my iPhone directly to my iCloud. I never think about this happening, because I don’t know who would care to do this. But, someone could easily tap into that information line and see all of my pictures. I can post to Facebook or even write a blog now without being wired into the Internet. I can use Wi-Fi or satellite provided Internet service.

Now, I’m not a fan of going into hiding and secluding myself completely from the world just because I don’t want everyone to see all of the cute pictures of my cat (in fact everyone should see them because she is adorable, but that’s beside the point), but I do think I should be the one able to say who can see my cat, even if it is the whole world. This week is about knowing what your rights are in terms of privacy and especially getting down to the details of what counts as infringement on your privacy.

You might look into CISPA too—a bill that would give the government access to company information that is private customer information.

Check out the privacy revolution website and find out what your rights to privacy are.

Working in the Library I may be heavily biased for this phrase, but knowledge is power. And this week is about getting you as much freedom and control of your privacy as possible.

~Cody C.
Parkville Branch

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