ILA Joins ALA in Urging LinkedIn to Reconsider New Policy Violating Patrons' Privacy Rights

August 12, 2019

The Illinois Library Association (ILA) is a professional membership organization of over three thousand members that represents the libraries of Illinois and their patrons and works to build the future of libraries across the state. It is a chapter of the American Library Association; an independent organization that provides geographic representation to ALA's Council.

As members, we are committed to the ALA’s Code of Ethics that include protecting “each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.” 

Therefore the ILA stands in solidarity with the ALA’s statement urging LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com, a platform used by libraries that provides the opportunity for online learning,) to reconsider their policy regarding the creation of the user profile. Under LinkedIn Learning’s new terms of service, a library user will be required to create a LinkedIn profile that includes not only their library card number and pin, but also their full name and email address. The new user profile will be set to Public by default, allowing their personal information to be searched on LinkedIn and Google. 

We stand firmly behind the ALA’s affirmation that the protection of privacy is crucial to intellectual freedom and it is the core of our ethical duty to protect the privacy of Library users. Publicizing the names and email addresses of Library patrons is a clear violation of that duty, and we add our voice to the American Library Association and stand by their mission to protect the intellectual freedom of our patrons.

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