By Daniel J. Solove
For several years, I have been posting about notable books on privacy and security, and this post lists some of the notable books from 2015. To see a more comprehensive list of nonfiction works about privacy and security, you might consult this resource page that Professor Paul Schwartz and I maintain: Nonfiction Privacy + Security Books.
Now, without further ado, here are some of the many privacy and security books published in 2015:
My blurb: “Privacy on the Ground is a deep and insightful account of the unwritten law of privacy, crafted from the way that privacy professionals steer internal governance of privacy within companies. The rise of the privacy profession has had as great an impact on privacy today as any law. Privacy on the Ground shows us that law isn’t self-executing but depends upon people who must navigate and change the culture and structure of their institutions. This book is the definitive scholarly analysis of the role of privacy professionals in the United States and in Europe.”
Neil Richards, Intellectual Privacy, Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age (2015)
My book jacket blurb: “Intellectual Privacy is a profound and compelling account of how privacy is essential to freedom to speak, write, read, think, create, and explore new ideas. Neil Richards demonstrates how surveillance by the government and companies threaten those core values at the foundation of any democratic society. With great thoughtfulness and engaging writing, Intellectual Privacy is lively and accessible, yet rigorous and powerful. This is one of the most important books about freedom of speech and ideas ever written.”
Bruce Schneier examines NSA surveillance, the Snowden revelations, and more. Schneier is a wise and compelling thinker. Everything he says is worth listening to. From Yocai Benkler, (Yale Law School): “Whether you worry about government surveillance in the post-Snowden era, or about Facebook and Google manipulating you based on their vast data collections, Schneier, the leading, truly independent expert writing about these threats today, offers a rich overview of the technologies and practices leading us toward surveillance society and the diverse solutions we must pursue to save us from that fate.”
Nuala O’Connor (Center for Democracy & Technology) writes: “This book is my go-to reference for when I need quick, accurate information on privacy laws across sectors and jurisdictions. Solove and Schwartz masterfully make complex privacy law more accessible and understandable for anyone, from the most experienced practitioner to first year law student.”
Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (2015)
From Booklist Review: “With confidence, verve, and empathy, Ronson skillfully informs and engages the reader without excusing those caught up in the shame game. As he stresses, we are the ones wielding this incredible power over others’ lives, often with no regard for the lasting consequences of our actions.” From The Financial Times: “A work of original, inspired journalism, it considers the complex dynamics between those who shame and those who are shamed, both of whom can become the focus of social media’s grotesque, disproportionate judgments.”
Clay Calvert (U. Florida College of Journalism and Communications) writes: “Mills explores possible modernization of the intrusion tort, calls for greater weight to be placed on human dignity interests, suggests redefining personal space to fit our times, and offers multiple approaches for recalibrating the delicate balance between press freedom and privacy rights.” Chris Hoofnagle (U.C. Berkeley Law) writes: “Elucidates a path that both enhances dignity and protects essential press liberties. This is a much needed work in our new media age, where forced disclosure and technology have converted transparency from a disinfectant into a bludgeon.” Anita Allen (U. Penn Law) writes: “An original look at old and new media versions of the clash between privacy and freedom of the press.”
Alan Westin, Privacy and Freedom (2015)
This is a classic must-read book on privacy, originally written in 1967 and finally back in print in this new edition, with a preface written by me. Excerpt from my preface: “At the core of the book is one of the most enduring discussions of the definition and value of privacy. Privacy is a very complex concept, and scholars and others have struggled for centuries to define it and articulate its value. Privacy and Freedom contains one of the most sophisticated, interdisciplinary, and insightful discussions of privacy ever written. Westin weaves together philosophy, sociology, psychology, and other disciplines to explain what privacy is and why we should protect it.”
Seyla Benhabib (Yale University) writes: “An impassioned plea to liberal democrats to wake up to the perils posed by the new digital technologies to their freedoms and selves. We have become a ‘society of expositors,’ willingly and naively exposing our most intimate lives to the scrutiny of impersonal agencies, endangering not only our civil liberties but our identities as well.” Frank Pasquale (U. Maryland Law) writes: “Harcourt’s book, which exposes the deeply troubling implications of pervasive surveillance in an era of neoliberalism, could not be more urgent.”
Franklin Zimring (U.C. Berkeley) writes: “This is the first sustained and analytic look at profoundly important policy on criminal records. In accessible prose, Jacobs provides a guide for legal and criminal justice scholars, practitioners and advocates, and anyone concerned with privacy, employment policy, and race relations. A very important book.” Milton Heumann (Rutgers University) writes: “James Jacobs is a brilliant policy analyst, carefully and cleverly examining different sides of the criminal records debate.”
Amy Adele Hasinoff, Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent (2015)
From Danah Boyd: “A fantastic antidote to the media-driven moral panic. . . . Hasinoff’s thoughtful book offers a framework for rethinking sexual media production and the politics of consent. This is a critical intervention to a fraught topic.” From Choice: “The author’s aim is to propose alternative ways to deal with gender and sexual victimization, to think about youth’s rights for self-expression, and to respect their consent and privacy. Hasinoff also provides practical recommendations for concerned readers, legislators and prosecutors, and teachers and educators.“
From Stiennon’s synopsis of his book: “There Will Be Cyberwar traces the origins of network-centric warfighting from the Taiwan Straits Crisis of 1995-96 to the creation of US Cyber Command. It raises the specter of future wars–not too distant–where adversaries take advantage of vulnerabilities in sensors, weapons, and command and control, to dominate the battle field. It is not a pretty vision.”
From Kirkus Reviews: “A provocative excursion to the darker side of human nature set free by the anonymous and unregulated boundaries of cyberspace.” From B&N Review: “It is Bartlett’s plentiful and fascinating interviews with the denizens of the dark net that make his book so compelling… Quite worrying, a bit disgusting, highly voyeuristic, and occasionally very funny: this is the nature of both the dark net and The Dark Net.”
This Privacy by Design guide demonstrates in a practical and thoughtful way how software can be engineered to be more privacy-protective. From the book description: “Ideal for software engineers new to privacy, this book helps you examine privacy-protective information management architectures and their foundational components—building blocks that you can combine in many ways. Policymakers, academics, students, and advocates unfamiliar with the technical terrain will learn how these tools can help drive policies to maximize privacy protection.”
Robert B. Reich of U.C. Berkeley writes: “Robert Scheer reminds us that privacy is everything—the protector of our liberty, the guarantor of our personal autonomy, the fountainhead of our democracy—and yet it’s disappearing faster than an electronic blip moving at warp speed from your computer to the NSA. With clarity and precision, Scheer dissects the military-intelligence complex, showing it to be neither very secure nor very intelligent, but, rather, dangerous to us all.”
Michael Schudson, The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency, 1945-1975 (2015)
David Greenberg (Rutgers University) writes: “The Rise of the Right to Know identifies the emergence of transparency or openness in the 1960s and ’70s as a leading principle in American political culture.” George Brock writes in the Times Literary Supplement: “By piecing together the story of new laws on freedom of information, consumer labeling and environmental impact reports, [Schudson] shows that these laws were part of a longer, slower change, which began well before the Summer of Love. Law entrenched new information rights but nothing would have reached the statute book without a relaxation of the political and cultural climate.”
Lawrence Lessig (Harvard Law School) writes: “Beautifully written and powerfully argued, Laws of Image shows us how the law develops through culture, leaving us with a rich sense of the struggle that remains as digital culture renders the image as common as the bit.” Stuart Banner (UCLA Law) writes: “In a series of compelling stories of court cases and their social contexts, Samantha Barbas illuminates how evolving ideas about self-image and privacy transformed tort law and the freedom of speech.”
This is a great collection of essays by Thomas Blanton, David Cole, John Mills, Hodding Carter, Barry Siegel, and Edward Wasserman. Topics include the Snowden leaks, the state secrets doctrine, journlaists and whistleblowers, classification of government documents, and more.
The book has a wonderful selection of short philosophical essays on privacy, and I’m honored to be included among the terrific group of chapter authors, who include Anita Allen, Paul Schwartz, Helen Nissenbaum, Judith Wagner DeCew, Kirsty Hughes, Colin Bennett, Adam Moore, and Priscilla Regan, among many others. Each chapter is succinct and well-chosen.
Short essays by Ryan Calo, Gary Marx, Helen Nissenbaum, Frank Pasquale, Deborah Peel, Danielle Citron, Michael Froomkin, and Pamela Samuelson, among others.
My blurb: “Privacy, Security, and Accountability is a terrific collection of essays by leading thinkers on privacy and security. These essays explore philosophically the role of privacy and security in democratic society. The chapters have depth and tackle the enduring questions in insightful and interesting ways. Rich with theory, the book is also accessible and timely.”
My thoughts about the book from my interview with McNicholas: “The treatise is a superb guide to this rapidly-growing body of law, and it is nicely succinct as treatises go. It is an extremely useful volume that I’m delighted I have on my desk. If you practice in this field, get this book.”
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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. This post was originally posted on his blog at LinkedIn, where Solove is a “LinkedIn Influencer.” His blog has more than 900,000 followers.
Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz of the Privacy + Security Forum (Oct. 24-26, 2016 in Washington, DC), an annual event that aims to bridge the silos between privacy and security.