Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Library Standards of Privacy and Norms for the Digital World

Anne Klinefelter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Law, has published Library Standards for Privacy: A Model for the Digital World? in volume 11 of  the North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology (2010). Here is the abstract.

In the ongoing Google Books settlement process, several advocacy organizations, including library associations, have filed amicus briefs to the supervising court demanding provisions for reader privacy. Because the scanned content for Google Books has come from cooperating research libraries, these advocacy groups argued that it was in the public interest that library standards for privacy should follow that content into this new digital context. The recommendation is worth consideration for other extra-library reading as well, both in digital and print contexts. While librarians have been successful advocates for privacy in library-provided reading, the values for reader privacy are the same in individuals’ subscriptions to Google Books, licensed access to e-reader books, reading on the Internet, and purchase of books through online or brick-and-mortar bookstores. This essay shares a librarian’s-eye-view of library standards for privacy and suggests that the law of reader privacy must not only address readers of Google Books, but also other digital reading and even print reading contexts external to libraries in order to protect the privacy of thought for readers.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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