We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the Library’s privacy efforts and what patrons can do to increase their privacy when using Library resources, so we sat down with Becky Yoose, The Seattle Public Library’s Library Applications and Systems Manager, to find out more about privacy at the Library.
What is your role in the library’s patron privacy efforts?
I have many roles! The first role is to ensure that the data we collect for evaluating services places as little risk as possible in identifying individual patron activity. Essentially, making sure that we are not unnecessarily storing personally identifiable information about patrons themselves and what the patrons do, like checkouts or computer sessions or reference questions.
Another role is working with the IT Director in making sure that the vendors follow the confidentiality policies that the Library has in place, ensuring that they are treating patron data as securely as we would treat it. The third role that I have is with the Open Data Initiative for the City – I am the privacy champion for the Library. Continue reading “Library Insider: A Conversation About Privacy With Becky Yoose”
— by Jim L.
Yesterday, Nate Hoffelder, the editor of The Digital Reader blog reported that the newest version of the Adobe Digital Editions software (ADE 4) appears to be transmitting data about eBooks back to Adobe’s servers.
The Library’s primary eBook distributor, OverDrive, uses Adobe’s Digital Rights Management software to help enforce the rules that publishers require to permit libraries to lend eBooks. The Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) application is used to setup Adobe IDs, which are required for you to borrow and read library eBooks. Often, the process of setting up and configuring an Adobe ID happens while you’re checking out your first library eBook and rarely needs to be repeated.
ADE can also be used to manage your eBook collection and even to read eBooks. A friend of Hoffelder’s discovered that ADE version 4 gathers and transmits data in plain text about eBooks that have been opened, which pages were read, and in what order. Hoffelder’s article includes samples of data captures and screenshots that seem to bear this out.
According to another source, this issue appears to only affect users who use ADE on a desktop computer for reading and managing eBooks. If users use the OverDrive app or an e-reader device to actually read eBooks, it does not appear that they are affected. Continue reading “Addressing data privacy issues around Adobe Digital Editions”