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Re: Privacy and the Google settlement (long, sorry)

I take exception to a number of assumptions here - they tend, in 
the main, to cast libraries as "brokers" (i.e. businesses) as the 
term was used in this posting.  First, Google digitized 
libraries, not bookstores.  They will, as a result of the 
agreement if it goes through, have a "slot" in libraries as part 
of our services.  The correct analogy is not Slate or Newsweek, 
but allowing Ebsco or Wiley etc. to harvest information about 
users who walk in with every expectation that they will have the 
run of resources without being unduly tracked and having that 
information garnered for marketing purposes.  Granted, we're 
struggling with balancing this value with the potential of new 
searching capacities, but we won't find that balance by 
redefining libraries as businesses or defining it out of 
existence.  Second, I'm startled at how blithe the discussion is 
of snooping, and the distinction made between government snooping 
and business data gathering.  This is a real issue post-9/11. 
The government did snoop - in libraries among many places/spaces. 
The government also forced companies (who were all too eager to 
roll over) to turn over what they gathered/snooped on.  In other 
words, in the last 8 years, the division between business 
intelligence and government intelligence has all but disappeared. 
By giving Google a privileged place within libraries of all 
types, we're right to look to protect what little privacy is 
left.  Finally, is there anything wrong in being a place a little 
bit apart?  Do we really need to track & market to our users just 
like Amazon or Verizon?  That's our mission now?  I seriously 
doubt that is healthy strategy for the long run.  It is not 
cut-and-dried issue, I know.  We're not sacred or pure spaces for 
privacy.  Privacy exists in a spectrum of practices and degrees. 
But I do think we should be a little less blithe about its value 
and our relationship to the products we offer our publics.

John Buschman

Rick Anderson wrote:
> I've been struggling for months now with the question of whether
> or not the privacy issue is a complete red herring. I've decided
> that I don't think it is, but I do think it's kind of pinkish.
> For what it's worth, here's why:>