This year’s theme for Choose Privacy Week (May 1-7, 2019) — “Inclusive Privacy: Closing the Gap” — draws attention to the privacy inequities imposed on vulnerable and historically underrepresented populations and highlights how libraries can close the privacy gap for those who need it most.
While everyone’s online privacy is at risk in a world of big data analytics, it is those who are poor or who belong to vulnerable or historically marginalized communities whose privacy is in the greatest jeopardy. Targeted for ubiquitous surveillance and data-based discrimination, they often find themselves unable to prevent or control how their digital information is collected, stored, used and shared by government and corporations alike. Libraries, as trusted sources of information and community support, can “close the privacy gap” for these users by providing safe spaces, training, and resources to help them take control of their private lives and personal data.
Choose Privacy Week is the American Library Association’s annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians’ unique role in protecting privacy. It provides libraries and librarians an opportunity to offer privacy-centered programming, displays, and other learning opportunities that assist patrons and librarians alike to learn, think critically and make more informed choices about privacy.