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Safe Practices for Personal Data

This short module covers the basics of personal data on the internet, including how and why corporations seek to collect it.

Welcome to this short module about online personal data. Libraries have always been on the front lines of the battle for personal privacy. Our professional organization, the American Library Association, even has a whole set of pages dedicated to the advocacy, legislation and issues surrounding privacy. What you check out, what you read, and what you do in libraries has always been considered private and libraries are encouraged to neither keep your checkout information nor share anything they do keep with law enforcement. We're on your side! 

But if you've ever been on the internet, you've had data about what you've liked, what you've seen, what you've purchased, or what you've listened to scooped up by someone. Often this occurs without your direct knowledge or consent. If it sounds kind of creepy to you, you're not alone, but this is the foundation upon which the internet is built and it's very difficult to fully avoid.

That being said, there are some practices you can follow and things you can look out for to minimize the amount of personal data you give out. This module will walk you through some of these and end with a fun puzzle game where you attempt to protect your personal data from an evil corporation who wants to take it.

This lesson has the following parts:

  1. Brief history of personal data collection
  2. Why corporations want your data
  3. Why you should be concerned
  4. A fun game
  5. What you can do to minimize the impact
  6. A brief conclusion

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