That’s Personal and Private…

Social Media and privacy

Photo credit:  Library & Information Technology Association

 

And we intend to keep it that way. The ongoing controversy regarding how Facebook and Twitter platforms compromise user privacy is discouraging.

The problems are not new. With more than two billion users, algorithms and patents designed to track personal information at its disposal, Facebook settled with the FTC in 2011 on “…charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers’ express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings.”

Public libraries use Facebook every day to connect their community to the good news about library services and resources. Libraries also screen materials, collections and sources carefully to ensure the information provided is credible and accurate. Libraries help people enjoy life to the fullest, and to achieve whatever they set out to do. We strive for positive outcomes, yet we protect your privacy, too.

Public libraries adhere to some of the strictest privacy standards around, guided by the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights. Those rights include diversity in collection development, meeting room use on an equitable basis, and best practices assuring you have the right to use your library without having the “subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others.” The bottom line is when you use your card here, we keep any personally identifiable information private on your behalf.

Executives and engineers at various social media sites seeking to protect privacy would be well served by studying different organizations like public libraries, who fulfill their stated mission to bring people and communities together, without compromising user privacy.

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