Chair's and President's Programs
ALA Unit/Subunit: IFRT
Meeting Type: Chair's Program,Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) is proud to sponsor a moderated debate on the subject of “big data” analytics in the library world. The right of library users to keep private their individual use of library resources has traditionally been protected by federal, state and local privacy laws as well as ALA’s long-standing guidelines.
But those protections are increasingly challenged by the use of “big data”: library patron information that is bundled up, aggregated, and (usually) anonymized for varied purposes including trend analyses, grant funding, and reporting to local governments. But has this new era of data collection become another form of surveillance? Is the aggregated data of library users truly anonymous? Can we collect such data and still guarantee the minimum standards of privacy for our library users?
In this lively discussion, two speakers representing opposing points of view will debate the “big data” phenomenon and its possible consequences for patron privacy. The IFRT discussion will be moderated by Bill Marden, Director of Privacy and Compliance at The New York Public Library.