Privacy and network education

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Last month, our Office was invited to participate in a youth privacy conference hosted by the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has been focused on the issue of libraries and privacy awareness for the last three years, thanks to a grant from the Open Society Institute.  They plan to focus their efforts in 2011 on developing strategies for how best to deliver the privacy message to young people and see libraries as ideal places for youth to learn about privacy. They brought together privacy advocates, policy experts, librarians, educators, and our Office to pick our brains on how to best achieve this.

Their keynote speaker was Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing, who gave a very engaging talk via Skype where he advocated for network education – an approach we’ve discussed in this blog before.

He argues for the development of critical thinking skills, and defines the goal of youth privacy initiatives as  “A future where ‘why do you need to know this?’ is the default position when someone asks our kids to disclose information.”

He gave a similar talk at TEDx Observer recently on privacy and kids - worth watching:

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