Thoughts on Privacy and the Google Book Settlement

Shortly, I will be presenting my thoughts on privacy and the Google Book Settlement at the “Google Books Settlement and the Future of Information Access” conference organized by the UC-Berkeley School of Information.

I speak last on a panel of esteemed experts, including Angela Maycock, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association; Tom Leonard, University Librarian, UC Berkeley; and Jason Schultz, Associate Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at U.C. Berkeley School of Law; fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

They will certainly cover all the important terrain, so my remarks will focus on my desire to trust Google when they say they’re “thinking hard” about these issues and promise to “protect readers’ privacy rights”, while noting their track record is reason enough to cause us some pause, and is why we’re pushing so hard as advocates on these vital concerns.

I will also suggest a few tactics they can take to engage in the ethical-design of the proposed service, and will close with a call for coders to help develop a version of TrackMeNot for Book Search, thereby giving some power back to the users to obfuscate their book search activities.

A rough draft of my remarks are here, and a pdf of my slides are here.

You can follow the tweet stream for the conference at #gbsfia.

UPDATE: PCWorld has some coverage of our panel discussion: “Privacy Missing From Google Books Settlement”, which was also picked up by the New York Times.

YouTube video of the panel presentation is here.

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