Toronto Public Library Launches Digital Privacy Initiative

November 8, 2016 | Media Relations

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Toronto Public Library is pleased to kick-off its Digital Privacy Initiative on Thursday Nov 10th, with a launch event at 6:30 pm at the Lillian H. Smith branch.

The panel includes Alison Macrina, director of the Library Freedom Project; Brenda McPhail, director Privacy, Surveillance and Technology project, Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and Christopher Parsons, research fellow, Citizen Lab, Munk school for Global Affairs at University of Toronto. The speakers will address surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms.

We live in an era of unprecedented surveillance, with various institutions wanting access to our online lives. Yet, freedom from exactly this sort of intrusion was, and remains, an essential ingredient for any democratic society –- so much so that intellectual freedom is enshrined in constitutional law, both in Canada and abroad.

“The public library has long been a protector of, and advocate for, people’s right to non-prejudiced access to the world’s information,” Pam Ryan, Toronto Public Library’s Director of Service Development and Innovation, explains. “With this digital privacy initiative, we will facilitate the free exchange of information and ideas that is a cornerstone of a democratic society, while protecting individuals’ right to privacy and choice.”

Next year, Toronto Public Library will host prominent speakers to engage the public in the broader debates on privacy, and digital civil rights.

A training program will be offered through our branches, to familiarize customers with the various technologies that enhance their personal security online, and safeguard their personal data.


About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Last year, we had 18 million visits to our branches and 31 million virtual visits. Torontonians borrowed 32 million items in branches and online. To learn more, visit, call Answerline at 416-393-7131 or follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

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