3 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 297 2019 Introduction Mary Lee Kennedy, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries Recently, the New York Times began The Privacy Project to explore privacy in contemporary life. The opening sentences are: Companies and governments are gaining new powers to follow people across the internet and around the world, and even to peer into their genomes. The benefits of such advances have been apparent for years the costs—in anonymity, even autonomy—are now becoming clearer. The boundaries of privacy are in dispute, and its future is in doubt.1 This is not new to most readers, but it reflects a broader public discussion about what we know to be true—the idea of privacy as we once knew it is in flux. In this first issue of Research Library Issues (RLI) in 2019, the authors explore privacy from a legal, digital, and applied perspective, with a focus on the implications and opportunities for research libraries. The current privacy landscape highlights the need for a nuanced understanding of the complicated nature of privacy today. Research libraries need to collaborate with other privacy-related constituents within institutions and in the public policy and legislative arenas, and act as trusted institutions within a democratic society. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) places privacy in the top tier of its priorities for advocacy and public policy. We hope this issue of RLI will help the reader identify institutional privacy policies and practices to investigate and adopt amid changes in the interfaces between users and information, and within the broader context of the US and international policy landscape. Not a day goes by without news of data breaches, and coverage related to consumer, student, and institutional privacy policy and The idea of privacy as we once knew it is in flux.
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