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Library privacy bill moves through House

Residents who fear that Big Brother or others are peaking into their electronic reading list at the local public library will have no reason to worry if a bill approved by the House on March 4 becomes law.

Republican Rep. Jeff Dial of Chandler sponsored HB2165 after reading an article in the National Conference of State Legislatures magazine about how other state Legislatures are taking up the issue.  He decided Arizona should also protect its residents’

e-books from the prying eyes.

“(The article) talked about how e-books are not covered under privacy laws and how new library books are bring released and they don’t have the same privacy protections, because traditionally we just thought of library books as your paper books, but now e-books are being rented from libraries,” he said.

Currently, a library or library system supported by public money is prohibited from disclosing any record or other information that identifies someone as requesting or obtaining specific materials or services or otherwise using the library. The bill would specifically add electronic books to the list of materials that are not allowed to be disclosed.

Records may still be disclosed if it is necessary for the reasonable operation of the library, upon written consent of the user, on receipt of a court order or if otherwise required by law.

The bill passed through the House on March 4 with 57 in favor and one against.

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