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

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"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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sbloom42 - LibraryThing

An interesting overview of what data is collected about you and how it is used. The book is a bit dated in sections, it was written pre-9/11 so the chapter on Terrorism is of course way out of date ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Read it and weep (or commit suicide, or go out and berate everybody who didn't vote for Nader, or ...). Ubiquitous surveillance, personal information trafficking, and much more. The book is unnecessarily Americentric: What we're all heading for is Database World. 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

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