Archive for the ‘privacy’ Category

Spam spam spam spam

July 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Spamity spam! Sorry, got carried away  there …

Spam. We all get it. We all know there is NOT a Nigerian prince needing help. My personal email spam has an extremely high opinion of my libido. Still spammers gotta spam. They’re getting wiser about it. Now I get emails that purport to be from my very own company telling me to do things. And invitations from my professional social media account, again asking me to update information.  Spoofing they call it, pretending to be something they are not.

Still it surprises me that spammers are going old school and hitting the phones now. They spoof there too. I get calls telling me my credit card has problems – and they cite a company I do not do business with. And that my student loans are in trouble – which is amazing since I never had student loans (having gone to school when it was still semi-affordable). All of these calls come from real phone numbers – numbers that belong to an individual and it is completely legal! It is both amusing and frightening to get a call from your own phone number, answering to find that you are “behind on your student loan payments”.

Registering with the Do Not Call list does not stop these spoofers. Block the number and you may find you are blocking a friend. And if it your number, you may get tons of calls from upset people who have been getting telemarketer calls from your number.

So what is the answer? I have none except for diligence. Do not give personal information to someone who has called you. Instead, look up the number (do not use the number they provide) and call back to ensure it is legitimate before providing information. Likely you will annoy whomever is calling you – remind them of the potential issues of simply giving this information to anyone who calls.  An annoyed person is much better than a lost identity.

Categories: privacy, theft

Fun with Searching!

July 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Ever search random ideas, things or thoughts? Do it then watch the “ads” appear! A friend was over, we wondered if we could make pigs in a blanket without buying canned dough (you can) … now my “ads” all feature recipes, blankets, hot dog brand names, and (my favorite) actual piglets in blankets.


I did a blog a while back about cyber-stalking advertisements and it still amuses me how fun it can be. And now many major telecommunications groups (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) are planning to or are already selling your particular search history to others. Theoretically the “individual identification” is removed. Uh huh. Sure it is. No one could possible track me down … right Target?

Categories: humor, internet, privacy Tags:


May 20, 2010 Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago Ana discussed privacy Mixed Reviews, Creating your Online Identity, and Follow-ups and Web 3.0, Facebook, Privacy, Identity Control on May 6 (it won’t let me link direct). Then another friend (hey Jon!) pointed me to It May As Well Be On the Front Page of the NYT.

So, what does this have to do with the library? I’m so glad you asked!  Librarian creed is steeped in things like ‘get the patron the information desired’ and ‘keep the patron’s information private’.  In fact, most automation systems will automatically ‘delete’ patron checkout records once the item is returned. We do not record who looked up something, just that something was looked up. Read what ALA has to say about about issues involved with the USA Patriot Act (or search [insert preferred search engine here]  the topic “libraries and the patriot act” and find tons of information)

Have you ever heard of a little ol’online bookstore called “Amazon“? They do a remarkable thing – they allow their customers to review the books [and lots of other stuff] and post those reviews for the world to see.  Wow! I can see what others thought before I purchase the book! Cool! 

Now to the catalog, given that we librarians are vehemently against divulging the patron’s information how the heck could we add this in? Perhaps we could take a note from Evergreen which allows patrons to opt-in on retaining their borrowing history AND allows them to post reviews on materials. I do like that Evergreen does not automatically open up the patron’s record but that the patron must flip that switch. 

Of course I cannot discuss adding reviews without bringing up Tim Spalding and LibraryThingLibraryThing for Libraries can provide the LibraryThing reviews for the titles in your catalog AND allow your patrons to add reviews. Check it out, pretty cool stuff.

One big difference needs to be noted here, on social networking sites it is very easy to hide your identity. You can set up an email address for your pseudonym. In a library, where you have to show proof of identity to obtain a library card (and thus access their system), you do not have that anonymity.

I guess it comes down to, does the library decide for the patron with regards to privacy OR should the library allow the patrons to determine privacy for themselves?


Categories: catalog, privacy Tags: ,