Libraries: Your Privacy Haven

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 04/26/2018 - 11:25 AM

A group of people gaze up at a brick wall painted with various privacy icons.

We Protect Your Privacy

In 1939, the American Library Association added privacy to their professional code of ethics. Today, libraries across the country are charged with protecting "each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted."

We here at San José Public Library are committed to protecting your privacy by keeping personally identifiable information and your library activities confidential.

The library is different from private industries like social networks and tech companies that get their income from advertising. You are not our product, and we are not here to sell you anything. We are here to enrich lives by fostering lifelong learning and by ensuring that every member of the community has access to a vast array of ideas and information.

How do we protect your privacy?

There are many different ways that our library works to create a safe and private environment for you to learn and relax. Read our privacy policy to discover all the ways we are committed to protecting your privacy.

Did you know?

  • We encrypt our website using HTTPS technology, meaning, what you do on our website stays secure and private.
  • Our public computers clear your activity every time you log out.
  • We do not keep a record of your checkout history, beyond operational requirements.
  • We don't share your information with third-parties unless required by law.
  • Our library branches provide shredders that allow you to safely dispose of sensitive documents (up to 18 sheets of paper per visit).

How can I learn more about privacy?

Libraries love learning! If you want to explore how to live a safe and confident online life, we are here to help. Check out our Virtual Privacy Lab to learn about different privacy and security topics. At the end of each section, build a personalized toolkit with links, tips, and resources. You will also find a librarian-curated list of privacy apps, websites, browser extensions, and more to get you started right away.

For those interested in attending in-person workshops, we have you covered! As part of the American Library Association's Choose Privacy Week, we are offering Online Self Defense Workshops across the city. At these classes you will learn:

  • What it means to be a good digital citizen
  • How to create strong passwords
  • How to avoid malware, viruses, and cyber attacks
  • Smartphone safety

To join the national conversation, follow #chooseprivacy on Twitter and stay tuned to our social media accounts from May 1-7 for privacy tips to keep you safe online. If you want to learn more, or have questions about how we protect your privacy here at San José Public Library, ask a librarian at your favorite branch.

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