Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join now
Protecting the individual’s right to privacy

Protecting the individual’s right to privacy

“Freedom of access to information and freedom of expression as expressed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are essential concepts for the library and information profession. Privacy is integral to ensuring these rights.”

IFLA Statement on Privacy in the Library Environment

In our increasingly connected society, the individual’s right to privacy is at risk of being eroded. The CILIP Ethical Framework states that every librarian and information professional has a commitment to “uphold, promote and defend the confidentiality of information provided by clients or users & the right of all individuals to privacy”.

This ethical commitment to user privacy is matched by a commitment from CILIP to “uphold, promote and defend Information governance and practice that protects the privacy of individuals”.

The challenge to privacy

CILIP believes that everybody has a right to the privacy and confidentiality of their personal information.

In an age in which the citizen is expected to transact their personal data with both the state and private enterprise (and in which the state and private sector increasingly exchange personal data between themselves), it is vital that the individual is both aware of and in control of how their personal information is used.

This means that ethical librarians and information professionals have two responsibilities:

  1. Ensure that the privacy of personal data of users is protected and;

  2. Support users and citizens in understanding the issues, trade-offs and risks concerning privacy and personal data to enable individuals to make informed and effective decisions about their data and effectively manage it in an online environment

CILIP/Carnegie UK Trust Privacy Project

Between 2017 and 2018, CILIP has worked in partnership with the Carnegie UK Trust to understand the role of information professionals in promoting user privacy and to provide the sector with support and guidance on how to deliver this role.

As a result of this project, Carnegie UK Trust will be publishing Guidance for Librarians and Information Professionals and CILIP will be working with sector partners to develop, publish and promote an ‘Information Rights Charter’ which informs citizens of what librarians are doing to promote their right to privacy.

IFLA Statement on Privacy in the Library Environment

CILIP endorses the ILFA Statement on Privacy in the Library Environment. We are working with IFLA and other partners to ensure that the recommendations in the IFLA statement are reflected in the development of relevant policies and practices in UK libraries.

Contact us