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Privacy Issues Related to Public Libraries and K-12 Schools - Slides and Resources -

March 2009

The latest version of the PowerPoint slides are linked below. The library version was part of a privacy presentation sponsored by the Nicolet (WI) Federated Library system in February, 2004. The school version was part of a presentation at the Wisconsin Educational Media Association conference in April 2003. The slides are also used as a resource for a one or two hour workshop on the issue of privacy in schools and libraries, with special emphasis on the Internet. You may use any of the material in this presentation, but please give credit.

  • PowerPoint Slides (K-12 school version, 4-03)
  • PowerPoint Slides (Library version, 2-04)
  • Sample Policy on Privacy of Library Records and Use
    This sample policy is not intended as a recommended policy, rather it is intended to be a starting point for development of a local library policy—ideally to be developed with the assistance of the municipal attorney (or library counsel).
  • Selected Web Resources on Privacy
    Below are selected Web resources on organizations, projects, programs, surveys, etc., related to the issue of Internet privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable information (PII).

Links to organizations and trade groups related in some fashion to Internet privacy issues

American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU is one of the leading organizations promoting privacy on the Net. The privacy section of its site has the latest news on privacy issues before Congress and the courts.

ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom

The ALA's primary unit that tracks privacy issues and advocates for library privacy issues. This site has considerable information related to privacy issues in libraries and schools, including information on the impact of the USA Patriot Act.

Center for Democracy and Technology

Works to promote democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT seeks practical means to enhance free expression and privacy in global communications technologies.

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

One of the best-known computing organizations. See especially their Privacy and Civil Liberties page.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

One of the best organizations on privacy and first-amendment issues related to Internet use. See especially its Privacy, Security, Crypto, & Surveillance archive at

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

Another key organization dealing with privacy issues, EPIC is a good source for the latest news on them. See also its page on the FBI's Carnivore (DCS1000) program at

Privacy International (PI)

A London-based human rights group formed in 1990 as a watchdog on surveillance by governments and corporations. Has a good international section.

A popular, consumer-oriented site with many links to tools consumers can use to protect their PII when surfing the Net.

Online Privacy Alliance

A corporate group that promotes and fosters the protection of individuals' privacy online.

The Privacy Page

Good site that tracks late-breaking issues on Net privacy and security.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

The PRC offers consumers tips on how to protect their personal privacy. PRC publications provide in-depth information on a variety of information privacy issues and practical tips on safeguarding personal privacy. Site also includes a good page of privacy links.

More specific sites, articles, and research papers on privacy

Net privacy and the myth of self-regulation

Good article on the problems of self-regulation and PII collection policies being used by some companies.

Privacy and Security

Provides a wealth of information, including privacy tips and browser settings (re cookies, Java, etc.) that you can use to help preserve your Web-surfing privacy. From PC Magazine.

FTC Privacy site

The Federal Trade Commission is the lead federal agency on the issue of privacy and the Internet. This is the main FTC privacy Website. It has many links to reports and privacy information.

Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P)

P3P, an initiative of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), enables Web sites to state their privacy practices in a standard format to be retrieved automatically and interpreted by browsers. Your browser will then allow you to become informed of a site's privacy practices and make decisions based on these practices.

Personal Privacy and Use of RFID Technology in Libraries

Good paper on this emerging technology.

Privacy Online: A Report on the Information Practices and Polices of Commercial Websites

Very detailed report from the Progress and Freedom Foundation with many statistics. March 2002.