This program will report on the activities and findings from the IMLS-funded National Forum on Web Privacy and Web Analytics, a project that critically addresses library values and practices related to third-party analytics tracking on the web. Through an in-person forum and subsequent research and practice outputs, the project aims to transform our profession’s analytics practice.
The practice of third-party tracking on websites is widespread, and has only increased in prevalence and complexity over time. Libraries are furthermore increasingly partnering with third-party vendors who deploy analytics and tracking software. Analytics help tell a story of impact for stakeholders, while also serving a crucial role for tuning and improving library services. One prominent example of third-party analytics software is Google Analytics, a leading choice for web analytics in libraries. Google Analytics is easy to install and has no monetary cost, but from the perspective of user privacy, the cost can be steep. Google Analytics participates in a network of third-party tracking on the web that exposes user data, often without the fully informed consent of the user or the library. Libraries have historically offered safe spaces of intellectual freedom, yet the widespread implementation of third-party analytics may conflict with library commitments to privacy.
This presentation will equip attendees with insights and practices for achieving privacy on web, derived from the National Forum on Web Privacy and Web Analytics.
ALA Unit/Subunit: ALA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.