Have you heard of the Library Digital Privacy Pledge? I’ve signed on as the Director of the San Rafael Public Library and I hope you will too.
Why am I even talking about digital privacy? Because it’s part of what librarians sign on to do when we become librarians. From the American Library Association Code of Ethics:
We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
Most of us take the Code of Ethics, much like the ALA Library Bill of Rights, very seriously. And if, like me, you do believe in these core tenets of our professional obligations and duties than I hope you will consider making this pledge part of your digital services planning for the next few months.
This is the first in a series of pledges to get libraries, vendors, and membership organizations to pay attention to libraries’ commitments to protect patrons’ privacy, particularly in the digital realm. There are different pledges for different types of agencies, and the pledge for libraries reads as follows:
1. We will make every effort to ensure that web services and information resources under direct control of our library will use HTTPS within six months.
2. Starting in 2016, our library will assure that any new or renewed contracts for web services or information resources will require support for HTTPS by the end of 2016.
Nothing too controversial in there, right? HTTPS is accessible and standard (or should be), and is essential at working toward that first step at building a foundation for digital privacy.
To read more about the project check out the Pledge FAQ which addresses many of the “why” and technical questions you might have about taking this pledge for your library.
Go forth and protect.