Sunday, July 18, 2010
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.