Rights to Privacy and Freedom of Expression in Public Libraries: Squaring the Circle

McMenemy, D. (2016) Rights to Privacy and Freedom of Expression in Public Libraries: Squaring the Circle. World Library and Information Congress: 82nd IFLA General Conference and Assembly, Columbus, OH, USA, 13-19 Aug 2016.

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Abstract

This paper highlights some of the tensions faced in public libraries in the United Kingdom between the desires to support patrons’ rights to privacy and freedom of expressions, versus the reality of modern practice. Considering both privacy and freedom of expression as ethical concepts, it then discusses some examples from the UK where the tensions between privacy and freedom of expression manifest in practice, including around filtering and government initiatives to tackle extremism, as well as issues around cloud storage of user data. It concludes with a discussion on how public libraries and the profession in the UK must struggle to balance the competing interests of patrons and the state, and encourages the profession to address the tensions head on by regular and rigorous debate as to the issues.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords:Privacy, ethics, freedom of expression, public libraries, human rights, data protection, internet filtering.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMenemy, Dr David
Authors: McMenemy, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 David McMenemy
First Published:First published in 82nd IFLA General Conference and Assembly
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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