Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century (Google eBook)

Front Cover
"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Dec 4, 2000 - Computers - 338 pages
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Fifty years ago, in 1984, George Orwell imagined a future in which privacy was demolished by a totalitarian state that used spies, video surveillance, historical revisionism, and control over the media to maintain its power. Those who worry about personal privacy and identity--especially in this day of technologies that encroach upon these rights--still use Orwell's "Big Brother" language to discuss privacy issues. But the reality is that the age of a monolithic Big Brother is over. And yet the threats are perhaps even more likely to destroy the rights we've assumed were ours.Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century shows how, in these early years of the 21st century, advances in technology endanger our privacy in ways never before imagined. Direct marketers and retailers track our every purchase; surveillance cameras observe our movements; mobile phones will soon report our location to those who want to track us; government eavesdroppers listen in on private communications; misused medical records turn our bodies and our histories against us; and linked databases assemble detailed consumer profiles used to predict and influence our behavior. Privacy--the most basic of our civil rights--is in grave peril.Simson Garfinkel--journalist, entrepreneur, and international authority on computer security--has devoted his career to testing new technologies and warning about their implications. This newly revised update of the popular hardcover edition of Database Nation is his compelling account of how invasive technologies will affect our lives in the coming years. It's a timely, far-reaching, entertaining, and thought-provoking look at the serious threats to privacy facing us today. The book poses a disturbing question: how can we protect our basic rights to privacy, identity, and autonomy when technology is making invasion and control easier than ever before?Garfinkel's captivating blend of journalism, storytelling, and futurism is a call to arms. It will frighten, entertain, and ultimately convince us that we must take action now to protect our privacy and identity before it's too late.


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Database nation: the death of privacy in the 21st century

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

If you have a computer with Intel's "processor serial number," own a pet with an embedded "radio frequency identification device," use ATMs and credit cards, and shop on the Internet, privacy is ... Read full review

Review: Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

Imagine my surprise when I discovered much of a section of chapter 10 titled “Eliza and her Children” (pgs. 243-247 in 2001 paperback edition) is an excerpt of my 1996 article “Invasion of the ... Read full review


Privacy Under Attack
Database Nation
Absolute Identification
What Did You Do Today?
The View from Above
To Know Your Future
Buy Now
Who Owns Your Information?
Kooks and Terrorists
Excuse Me but Are You Human?
Privacy Now
One Year Later
Annotated Bibliography and Notes

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Simson L. Garfinkel is an Associate Professor at the NavalPostgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a fellow at theCenter for Research on Computation and Society at Harvard University.He has research interests in computer forensics, the emerging field ofusability and security, and in personal information management. He isalso interested in information policy and terrorism.In addition to his work as an academic, Garfinkel is a contributingeditor at Technology Review Magazine, where he writes a weekly blog onemerging technology, and an editor-at-large at CSO Magazine, where hewrites the award-winning monthly column "Machine Shop." In the pastGarfinkel was a weekly contributor to The Boston Globe, The San JoseMercury News and The Christian Science Monitor He was a foundingcontributor of Wired Magazine. Overall, Garfinkel's popular articleshave appeared in more than 70 publications around the world.Garfinkel is a consulting scientist at Basis Technology Corp., whichdevelops software for extracting meaningful intelligence fromunstructured text, and a founder of Sandstorm Enterprises, a computersecurity firm that develops advanced computer forensic tools used bybusinesses and governments to audit their systems.Garfinkel is the author or co-author of fourteen books oncomputing. He is perhaps best known for his book Database Nation: TheDeath of Privacy in the 21st Century. Garfinkel's most successfulbook, Practical UNIX and Internet Security (co-authored with GeneSpafford), has sold more than 250,000 copies in more than a dozenlanguages since the first edition was published in 1991.Garfinkel received three Bachelor of Science degrees from MIT in 1987, a Master's of Science in Journalism from Columbia University in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT in 2005.