On SAGE Insight: Privacy awareness issues in user data collection by digital libraries

Special Issue: Privacy

Guest Editor: Louise Cooke

From IFLA Journal

This special issue of IFLA Journal concerns itself with one of the key ethical and legal concerns of our time, namely that of privacy. In addition to playing an important role in political and social thought more broadly privacy has particular significance to the role and operation of the library and information sector. However, it is a value that is currently facing significant threats.

With the increased use of technological devices, activities that realize data collection increase, reaching all segments of society. As such, it becomes necessary to better understand this process which often does not occur in a perceptible way to the user who has low awareness about when, how, and where it occurs. Since data relating to such actions may reveal individuals’ personal information, threats to privacy emerge.

This selected article has the objective of investigating privacy aspects in the collection of data by the National Digital Libraries of South America. Country-specific digital libraries were examined using an exploratory research method to identify data these libraries collected both with the user’s awareness and in the explicit presence of privacy policies within their environments. In this study, the Wireshark version 2.4.0 was installed and executed in the author’s own equipment so that it was possible to initiate the capture and identification of traffic data packets when searching in the digital collection of Brazil’s National Digital Library website. In conclusion, privacy issues can be influenced by the user’s low awareness of when, how and where data collection takes place. Digital libraries need to make privacy policies available for the purpose of guiding users in relation to data collection ensuring that these policies not only specify data that users voluntarily provide, but also data that is abstracted into the layers of computer networks.

Abstract

This work has the objective of investigating privacy aspects in the collection of data by the National Digital Libraries of South America. Country-specific digital libraries were examined using an exploratory research method to identify data these libraries collected both with the user’s awareness and in the explicit presence of privacy policies within their environments. Brazil’s National Digital Library environment was also examined by using the Wireshark tool to identify possible data collected implicitly during user interaction. We identified that only two of the examined digital libraries provide privacy guidance, and in relation to the collection process, the data that are collected without the knowledge of the user stand out more than the data that the user makes available consciously. It is concluded that privacy issues can be influenced by low user awareness of when, how and where data collection takes place, and the availability of privacy policies becomes essential in digital libraries to raise awareness about this process.

Link to the Special issue table of contents

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Article details
Privacy awareness issues in user data collection by digital libraries
Elaine Parra Affonso, Ricardo César Gonçalves Sant’Ana
First Published August 21, 2018
DOI: 10.1177/0340035218777275
IFLA Journal

     
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