NISO Library Users’ Privacy Principles

As I mentioned in a blog post in July after our in-person meeting in San Francisco, I have been privileged to be on the steering committee for the NISO Consensus Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems.

In the intervening months, the working group have come to a final draft of principles formally titled as the NISO Consensus Principles on Users’ Digital Privacy in Library, Publisher, and Software-Provider Systems but more lovingly known as the NISO Privacy Principles.

The Privacy Principles are based upon the following main topics:

  • Shared Privacy Responsibilities
  • Transparency and Facilitating Privacy Awareness
  • Security
  • Data Collection and Use
  • Anonymisation
  • Options and Informed Consent
  • Sharing Data with Others
  • Notification of Privacy Policies and Practices
  • Supporting Anonymous Use
  • Access to One’s Own User Data
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Accountability

In a nutshell, this framework sets the expectations for all parties, and can be a tool for libraries to use when assessing their data privacy relationships both internally within the library and with service providers they engage with to provide services on their behalf. It will also be useful for service providers when deciding how to build their services in a way that aligns with good privacy practises. At a high level, these guidelines are a sensible balance and very focused on the benefit of the patron; being transparent about what data is being collected, how and with whom it is being used and shared, and how it is protected.

We have done our part as as a working group, and now we need your help to finish things up. Please take a few moments and review the Principles, and provide your feedback in the comments section below, or on Twitter, using the hashtag #NISOPrivacy.

If you are interested in how we got here take a look here at the background and how we got to these principles. You can listen to the audio recordings of the web-sessions that began the process, and the in-person meetings we held over the summer to begin to codify the principles themselves. Then, move on to the final principles and provide your feedback!

This request for review is not only for those in the library and information community, but also for people who use libraries as it is your data that is being considered here; your thoughts are definitely wanted (and needed!)

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