You’ve likely already heard that OCLC has released a new report on library advocacy. But today, I’m wishing that the previous one had gotten more attention from the library community. Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World got some serious attention from the social networking cliques, but I was really hoping that it would open the dialog about privacy expectations some more.
I attended a lecture on privacy at NCSU once where the speaker mentioned that we are living in a climate where most undergraduates would trade a DNA sample for an Extra Value Meal. A nice throw-away line, but one that sets up a value proposition for libraries. We could certainly ask for less than DNA and offer more than a Big Mac and fries.
I started wondering why library software applications and services don’t work more like the privacy settings in a web browser. By default, even Microsoft wants to be diligent in protecting my privacy, but the software gives my organization the ability to adjust the level to its liking. In turn, my organization can decide to extend that benefit to me as much as it sees fit, making determinations about how much it needs to protect itself and how much I can be trusted to protect myself.
Picture options like this:
I remain baffled as to why most libraries will only let patrons share their library data outside of libraries. I’m equally baffled as to why patrons don’t demand that they be allowed to do so.