Choose Privacy!

OPL's Digital Safety Team celebrates Choose Privacy Week! Read about why digital privacy matters, discover new resources, and learn about events happening at your library.

By Camille Peters & Andrea Guzmán, members of OPL's Digital Safety Team


This week, we celebrate Choose Privacy Week, an annual event held by the American Library Association (ALA) that "promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians’ unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole.” We encourage you to take this opportunity to reflect on your current digital practices and make changes according to your privacy needs.

Why does choosing privacy matter to us? Because your digital privacy and security are paramount to exercising intellectual freedom, a core value of public libraries. As stated by the ALA, “[a] publicly supported library provides free, equitable, and confidential access to information for all people of its community.” For more information and resources on how privacy relates to intellectual freedom, check out the ALA’s page on Intellectual Freedom.

Events for Choose Privacy Week:

Kick off Digital Privacy Week with Ars Technica reporter Cyrus Farivar's fascinating discussion of his new book HABEAS DATA: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance TechAs technology has made our lives easier, it has simultaneously made it possible for all of our personal information to be collected. We are being watched. Is it even legal? Come find out!

Related events:

To celebrate Digital Inclusion WeekGet Connected Oakland is hosting the East Oakland Tech Fair at the 81st Avenue Branch Oakland Public Library. Come learn, connect and explore new tech resources for you and your family. Free phones for OUSD high school students, low-cost internet and free refurbished computers!  Everyone is invited on May 12th from 11am-3pm… you do not want to miss out on this amazing event!

Resources for patrons:

Concerned about your online privacy but not sure where to start? Try one of these easy-to-use tools:

  • Security Planner by the Citizen Lab
    Get personalized recommendations for your devices and security concerns.
  • Eight-Day Data Detox Kit
    In just minutes a day, take concrete steps to protect your information online.

You can also read our Digital Safety Team’s past blogs for additional digital safety and privacy tips:

  • What now?! Necessary steps to take after the Equifax Data Breach
    This post describes the ominous Equifax data breach from September 2017 and outlines specific actions to protect your identity and/or address identity theft if you were a victim of this breach.

  • If it’s not a data breach
    The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal was never about a “data breach” in the way we have come to know the term. The scandal served to highlight the unfortunate truth that as digital consumers, most of us rarely know how our personal information is used on the “free” platforms we engage on. This post shares steps you can take to gain awareness of your privacy options and take control of the data you willingly or unknowingly share on the internet.

Computer tutors are also available at many of our branches to help with basic digital safety tips. Visit our Computer Tutor Schedule  for more info.


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