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University of Portland Clark Library

Digital Privacy Checkup: Welcome!

What is Privacy and Why does it Matter?

Privacy in a legal sense means the rights of the individual to make personal decisions and conduct their lives without public scrutiny.  The right to privacy is protected by the Constitution and inferred in the language of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

Digital privacy concerns the rights of individuals to decide how their digital information (personally identifiable information) is collected and used.

Daniel J. Solove,Yale Law School graduate and the John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School, articulates 10 reasons privacy is important:

  1. Limit on power,
  2. Respect for the individual,
  3. Reputation management,
  4. Respect for social boundaries,
  5. Trust,
  6. Control over one's life,
  7. Freedom of thought and speech,
  8. Freedom of social and political activities,
  9. Ability to change and have second chances, and
  10. Not having to explain or justify yourself.

Test Yourself!

About This Guide

Information about your online activity has value, just like money. There are ways you can decide who gets that information and how it's collected, and make it difficult for cybercriminals to obtain it. This guide provides these pages of resources to help you learn more:

  • Your Digital Footprint: Learn what the Internet knows about you, how to see if a website is tracking you, and how to avoid being tracked.
  • Strong Passwords: Learn how to create a strong password, test a current password's strength, and get help managing your passwords.
  • Understanding Terms of Service: Learn what Terms of Service (TOS) are and why it is important to read them before using a service.
  • Privacy Settings: Learn what commonly used third party providers do with your data.
  • Learn More: Books: Locate additional resources on this topic.

Why Does Clark Library Care about My Digital Privacy?

Our Statement of Ethics says "We support our users’ right to privacy and confidentiality in their use of library services and collections."

  • We do not sell or share your information; we protect it.
  • Your check-out history is not shared with anyone.
  • Your research questions are kept confidential.
  • Library workers who view your account or answer your questions are trained to maintain your privacy.

We encourage you to think about your privacy in every system with which you interact. | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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