What You Need to Know about Privacy Law

A Guide for Librarians and Educators

by Gretchen McCord

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Cover image for What You Need to Know about Privacy Law

September 2013

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 134
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Management and Administration/Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
  Librarianship: Philosophy, Values, and Issues/Information and Society/Culture
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U.S. privacy laws are confusing and hard to interpret. This book provides clear, substantive guidance to educators who work with minors in these rapidly changing, technological times.

Privacy is now an area of major concern as the use of social media, web beacons, tracking cookies, webcams, GPS-based cell phone tracking, and other 21st-century technologies increasingly proliferate. Educators who work with all ages of students have specific responsibilities to safeguard the students' personally identifying information. Protecting students' privacy is particularly critical in the case of minors. Unfortunately, U.S. privacy law is a mystifying patchwork of federal and state laws. Authored by an experienced attorney who specializes in copyright and privacy law, this book overviews laws pertinent to educators and explains how to recognize, analyze, and handle privacy issues as they arise in specific situations in the educational context.

The information in this work is critically important for anyone working in the educational arena, from professors, classroom teachers, and aides to librarians at all levels and administrators. The book's contents will also help parents to recognize situations that might implicate their child's privacy rights and provide parents with the appropriate steps to follow to work with the school to protect their child.


  • Addresses the complicated topic of privacy law and specific issues for pre-K–12 educators in an easy-to-read, accessible manner
  • Supplies valuable resource lists for staying current with ever-changing law and issues in privacy law
  • Organizes and presents information in a fashion that enables readers to think critically and make independent analyses of their specific environment
Author Info

Gretchen McCord, MSIS, JD, has been a licensed attorney since 2001, specializing in copyright and privacy law, and is currently a legal consultant and trainer in these areas. Her published works include Copyright in Cyberspace: Questions and Answers for Librarians as well as many journal articles and other contributions in the areas of copyright and privacy.



"This guide is easy to navigate and understand and is up-to-date, which is important in the legal arena. It is recommended primarily for educational institutions."VOYA

"Accessibly formatted with meaningful headings, a good index, and authoritative citations, McCord's book efficiently leads readers to their applicable concern when faced with ambiguous situations. Strongly recommended."Library Journal

"The work is written in an easy-to-understand style that will make it easy for librarians to decide what information is critical for their library and their patrons. The work provides lists of resources to help educators and librarians stay current. It will be a valuable addition to school library professional collections as well as for teachers, school administrators, and even parents."ARBA

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