ALA pushes privacy awareness

Ars Technica reports today that the American Library Association has begun a new push to teach people about personal privacy in libraries — making sure patrons know that what they do in a library could raise red flags with law enforcement and, then, making those patrons into advocates for privacy policy reform. The ALA’s beef:

“Law enforcement agencies at every level are exploiting fears about terrorism and child safety to encourage lawmakers to strip away statutory privacy protections for library records,” says the ALA. “This eliminates anonymity in the library, and encourages the mind set that ‘good’ people should have nothing to hide.”

That notion is ridiculous. There’s a sharp difference between “hiding” something and just wanting to keep it private, and a desire for privacy should never be taken as collusion with some mythical terrorist enemy. Go ALA!


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