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National "Choose Privacy Week" sparks conversations about protecting personal information at libraries

Posted at 10:49 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 10:49:37-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla — Libraries around the nation are working with their visitors to help better protect their personal information online.

Choose Privacy Week, dedicated annually to the first week in May, sparks the conversation of how libraries and their visitors can keep personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

The American Library Association (ALA) says like academic institutions, libraries are under immense pressure to engage in data practices at the expense of a person’s privacy.

While libraries must do their part to protect your information,

Christian Wartchow, CEO of CyberSecure IT Solutions in SWFL told Fox 4, there are other ways to implement additional layers of protection.

“Encouraging the patrons to utilize strong passwords, not to access sites that are not HTTP or secure sites. Just being cautious when using banking applications at the library,” said Wartchow.

The ALA says sometimes the data collection from library visitors is direct. One example is when someone gives the library personal data to obtain a library card.

Other times libraries collect personal data generated from someone’s library resources and services, even though the guest might not be aware of this data generation and collection.

Data privacy is also being talked about at the state level.

Recently Florida lawmakers moved forward with the Florida Privacy Protection Act.

The act applies to companies that collect and sell customers data and requires them to be more transparent with what they do with your personal information.