Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Privacy Groups Launch Google Book Search Campaign

Last week the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Samuelson Clinic launched their Google Book Search privacy campaign. This is one of the projects that ACLU-NC is working on as a part of their dotRights campaign.

Due to time constraints, the bulk of this text is straight from an email I received from the ACLU'S Nicole Ozer, the point person on this project.

On July 28th, the ACLU of Northern California, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Samuelson Clinic at UC Berkeley sent a letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, demanding that the company take real steps to protect reader privacy before expanding its Google Book Search service.

The ACLU of Northern California and EFF also sent an action alert to their members, asking them to send letters to Google expressing concern. Click here for the ACLU's alert and go to EFF'S site for theirs.

The letter received extensive press coverage and members of the public have already started responding in very high numbers to the action alert.

* Check out the ACLU's resource page about Google books . EFF's site has one too.
* A blog post is also online at the ACLU of Northern California and at deeplinks at
*Check out the dotrights Facebook page .

Included below is the text and link to the action alert in case you would like to take action or help spread the word.

Don't Let Google Close the Book on Reader Privacy

What you choose to read says a lot about who you are, what you value, and what you believe. That's why libraries and the ACLU have long defended the privacy of readers. I'm writing now to ask your help in protecting reader privacy rights in the digital era. In the near future, Google is planning to dramatically expand its book service, Google Book Search.

The good news is that millions of books will be available for browsing and reading online. The bad news is that Google is leaving reader privacy behind. Without strong privacy protections, all of your browsing and reading history may be collected, tracked, and turned over to the government or third parties without your knowledge or consent.

Please take a minute to email Google CEO Eric Schmidt and demand that Google Book Search protect your freedom to read privately. You should be able to read about anything from politics to health without worrying that someone is looking over your shoulder. Demand that Google pledge to protect your privacy and not stockpile and share information about your reading habits.

The time is now to stop Google Book Search from becoming a one-stop shop for government fishing expeditions into the reading habits of Americans.

Please Take Action!

One last reminder, click here if you want to learn more about Google Book Search and the ACLU's efforts to protect user privacy.

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