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How does privacy intersect with intellectual freedom? And how can you get kids to care?

Data mining and targeted advertising are daily online realities, and the process is streamlined to the point of being largely unnoticeable on the user’s end. But now that concepts like fake news and confirmation bias are becoming part of everyday conversation, it is increasinly important to make the connection between online privacy and equitable access to information.

Participate in the upcoming Choose Privacy Week, an ALA initiative held May 1-7! Choose Privacy Week is meant to spur conversation about privacy rights. Find “quick, easy, free” programming resources, videos, and graphics for your library to use!

In March of this year, Congress voted to repeal new FCC regulations set to go into effect this year which would have strengthened broadband and wireless consumer privacy protections. This means that internet service providers will have an increasingly free hand to analyze and sell personal information without explicit consent and without highlighting an easy way for users to opt out. The narrowly customized service that results can potentially limit available information and stifle opportunity for discovery, which is especially worrying for young people that have inherent familiarity with the technology but aren’t necessarily trained in information literacy. The more a child’s online experience is tailored by what advertisers know about them, the more credulous they can become, and the less likely they are to seek out or even notice information that isn’t meant to entice or convenience them. This makes it much easier to violate their intellectual freedom rights, inadvertently or otherwise.

Source: Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) April 15, 2017 blog post.

Submitted by Marla Sepnafski.