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section heading icon     other writings

This page highlights some other points of entry into the literature about privacy in online and offline environments. 

It covers -

subsection heading icon     policy development

The Electronic Privacy Papers edited by Bruce Schneier & David Banisar (San Francisco: Wiley 1997) is a unique compilation of key US government and private sector documents about encryption, privacy policy, law enforcement and other matters. Schneier's Secrets & Lies: Digital Security In A Networked World (New York: Wiley 2000) is strongly recommended.

For a personal perspective on how US cyber policy is developed (often on the hop, at great expense, with much noise from the media) you could do worse than turn to Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age (New York: Times 1998), a memoir by the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) Mike Godwin.

Whitfield Diffie & Susan Landau offer a more analytical study in the excellent Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping & Encryption (Cambridge: MIT Press 1999). Diffie is one of the inventors of public-key cryptography.

subsection heading icon     practice

Regrettably, much of the writing about privacy in newspapers and magazines is anecdotal. H Jeff Smith's Managing Privacy: Information Technology & Corporate America (Chapel Hill: Uni of North Carolina Press 1995) largely predates the web but is of value for its detailed exploration of how many US businesses develop privacy policies and - more importantly - the extent to which those policies are implemented. It is complemented by works such as Robert Smith's From Blackjacks to Briefcases: A History of Commercialized Strikebreaking and Unionbusting in the United States (Athens: Ohio Uni Press 2003) on covert surveillance.

Databanks in a Free Society: Computers, Record-keeping & Privacy (New York: Quadrangle 1972) by Alan Westin & Michael Baker is of similar value in understanding current US privacy debates.

Surveillance, Closed Circuit Television, & Social Control
(Aldershot: Ashgate 1998) edited by Clive Norris, Jade Moran & Gary Armstrong is essential reading for those interested in facecams and biometrics.

Who Owns Information? From Privacy to Public Access by Anne Wells Branscomb (New York: Basic Books 1994) is an overview of the interrelationship between privacy, as viewed in the US, and intellectual property - touching on electronic mail, medical records, government data, credit records and other information.

Raymond Wacks' lucid Personal Information: Privacy & the Law (Oxford: Oxford Uni Press 1989) and Privacy & Loyalty (Oxford: Clarendon 1998) edited by Peter Birks offer a UK perspective, complemented by Moira Paterson's Freedom of Information & Privacy in Australia: Government and Information Access in the Modern State (Sydney: LexisNexis/Butterworths 2005).

There is a provocative exploration of particular issues in David Brin's The Transparent Society (Reading: Perseus Books 1998), which highlights the notion of reciprocal transparency, ie government and business sharing with citizens the information collected about them. Graeme Laurie's thoughtful Genetic Privacy: A Challenge to Medico-legal Norms (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press 2002) explores medical privacy issues in more detail; other writing on genetic and other privacy questions is highlighted later in this guide.

Who Knows? Safeguarding Your Privacy In A Networked World by Ann Cavoukian & Don Tapscott (New York: McGraw-Hill 1997) is one of Tapscott's better books, embracing principles and legislation, workplace and medical privacy, the technologies of surveillance and a call to action.

Gavin Skok provides a useful introduction to questions about 'clickstreams' (ie tracking how you have surfed the web) in his 'Establishing A Legitimate Expectation of Privacy In Clickstream Data' article for the May 2000 issue of the Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review.

Laura Gurak's Persuasion and Privacy in Cyberspace (New Haven: Yale Uni Press 1997) is an account, albeit marred by deconstructivist jargon, of citizen campaigns against Lotus MarketPlace and the Clipper Chip, two US proposals with serious privacy implications.

A perspective on the latter proposal is provided by Dorothy Denning's excellent Information Warfare & Security (Reading: Addison-Wesley 1999), along with papers at her site.

subsection heading icon     communitarianism

Amitai Etzioni offers fashionable but generally unconvincing communitarian arguments in The Limits of Privacy (New York: Basic Books 1999), summarized in his 1999 article Less Privacy Is Good For Us (and You).

There is a more thoughtful treatment of philosophies and legal developments in Judith Decew's In Pursuit of Privacy: Law, Ethics & the Rise of Technology (Ithaca: Cornell Uni Press 1997).

David Lyon's The Electronic Eye: The Rise of the Surveillance Society (Minneapolis: Uni of Minnesota Press 1994) is a useful introduction to the US literature on pervasive surveillance and fears about systems such as Carnivore and Echelon. It is more insightful than Michel Foucault's The Eye of Power - in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings (New York: Pantheon 1980) - and other mannerist tracts.

John Torpey's The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship & the State (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press 2000) and Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (Princeton: Princeton Uni Press 2001) - co-edited with Jane Caplan - are useful introductions to both the bits of paper and broader questions of 'identity' in modern societies. This site features a supplementary profile that highlights writing about the 'surveillance state' (whether involving government agencies or the media) and identity schemes such as passports and national identification cards.

subsection heading icon     government

The File: A Personal History (London: HarperCollins 1997) is Timothy Garton Ash's memoir of living in the East German surveillance state, usefully complemented by A James McAdams' Judging the Past in Unified Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press 2001).

Among the wide range of literature on government secrecy and what used to be called 'national information policy' we've singled out the short essays in A Culture of Secrecy: The Government versus the People's Right To Know (Lawrence: Uni Press of Kansas 1998) and Greg Terrill's Secrecy & Openness: The Federal Government From Menzies to Whitlam and Beyond (Melbourne: Melbourne Uni Press 2000), embracing archives and freedom of information law and policy.

We've explored information policy and government privacy/secrecy in the final part of our censorship guide.

In the European Union the European Commission's Data Directive was the subject of None of Your Business: World Data Flows, Electronic Commerce & the European Privacy Directive (Washington: Brookings 1998) by Peter Swire & Robert Litan.

Susan Gindin's 1998 San Diego Law Review paper Lost & Found in Cyberspace: Informational Privacy in the Age of the Internet surveyed privacy-invasive technologies and legal remedies.

subsection heading icon     privacy apocalytic

Expressions of the 'privacy apocalyptic' include The Spy in the Coffee Machine: (The End of Privacy as We Know It) (Oxford: One World 2008) by Kieron O'Hara & Nigel Shadbolt, The End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance Is Becoming A Reality (New York: New Press 1999) by Reg Whitaker and No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society (New York: Free Press 2001) by Robert O'Harrow.

Other pointers to dystopian thinking are here.

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version of April 2008
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