4 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 297 2019 practices. Privacy is a topic of prime importance for our partners in higher education, government, and civic society—represented by its relationship to learning analytics, freedom of speech, the right to be forgotten, disinformation, and algorithmic bias. Research libraries may find themselves in a challenging position to educate users in a complex context, collaborate with peers on policy and practices, and influence decision-makers. The situation is complicated by users’ expectations of convenience and varying expectations of confidentiality, and decision- makers’ expectations of impact measures, timely outcomes, and risk management. Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, highlights three categories of threat for research libraries to understand, and concludes with recommendations on the most important steps to take now. He emphasizes the importance of institutional partnerships in doing so. There is an increased interdependence of privacy laws worldwide, as evidenced by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, the Canadian privacy hearings, and US federal and state laws. This interdependence is at least partially driven by the increased sophistication of global digital data collection practices by both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. As a result, the legislative, regulatory, and public policy privacy landscape is in motion in the United States, Canada, and internationally—with uncertain yet ongoing discussion, now specifically focused on consumer privacy. As a collaborative partner in the research and learning ecosystem, research libraries have an opportunity to shape, inform, and ensure their institutions’ policies and practices, as well as to participate in broader public policy discussions—recognizing that there are no easy answers. Krista Cox, director of public policy initiatives at ARL, provides the reader with an update on the current US and international privacy context—highlighting the patchwork nature of the US privacy landscape and the federal approach to privacy in Canada. She provides the background to potential for change in the US in 2019. Cox includes guidance on how research libraries can evaluate the current US discussion on consumer privacy as they consider convenience over
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