This page highlights some other points of entry into the
literature about privacy in online and offline environments.
It covers -
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
next page (technologies)