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Here are some notable books on privacy and security from 2012. To see a more comprehensive list of nonfiction works about privacy and security, Professor Paul Schwartz and I maintain a resource page on Nonfiction Privacy + Security Books.

More Essential than Ever: The Fourth Amendment in the Twenty First Century Inalienable Rights

Stephen J. Schulhofer, More Essential than Ever: The Fourth Amendment in the Twenty-First Century

From Albert W. Alschuler (University of Chicago): “This book is a gem-an astonishingly concise education in Fourth Amendment issues without shortcuts. Stephen Schulhofer’s simple, clear, engaging prose, his extraordinary insight, and his great good sense make the journey enlightening as well as alarming. Well before the end, one understands why rapidly changing technology and the threat of terrorism do not justify the slackening of Fourth Amendment protections that recent decisions have approved.”

Liars & Outliers

Bruce Schneier, Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

From Margaret Heffernan, CBS Moneywatch: “One of the best books I’ve read this year is by a security technologist, Bruce Schneier. In Liars and Outliers, he sets out to investigate how trust works in society and in business, how it is betrayed and the degree to which technology changes all of that, for the better or the worse. Schneier absolutely understands how profoundly trust oils the wheels of business and of daily life.”

Read my interview with Schneier about the book.

I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did

Lori Andrews, I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: “Lori Andrews is a privacy pioneer – she was warning the world about the importance of genetic privacy and fighting to protect it long before most people even understood what DNA was. With I Know Who You Are And I Saw What You Did she is once again on the cutting edge of a critical privacy issue facing us all. We should pay attention: The stories she recounts are shocking and important – essential reading for anyone who has ever used Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network.” 


Garret Keizer, Privacy

Laura Miller, Salon: “[PRIVACY is] a series of provocative juxtapositions and suggestive arguments. It encourages its readers to reframe how they think of privacy before it’s too late. Read it to jolt your imagination into new territory, and to understand why the privacy that many of us sacrifice so readily ought to be held more dear. … there’s an abundance of nutritional thought in ‘Privacy.’ Keizer has a way of turning lazy notions inside out to exhibit their fallacies.”

Hacking the Future Privacy, Identitiy and Anonymity on the Web

Cole Stryker, Hacking the Future: Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity on the Web

From Kirkus Reviews:  “A multilayered and well-reasoned retort against all those who would seek to erase anonymity from the Web … One of the most well-informed examinations of the Internet available today.”


John Gilliam and Torin Monahan, SuperVision: An Introduction to the Surveillance Society

From Mark Andrejevic (University of Queensland): “An invaluable Rough Guide to our rapidly developing surveillance society. John Gilliom and Torin Monahan chart the pitfalls and the potentials of emerging monitoring practices in an engaging fashion, pointing out some of the more colorful examples along the way. Above all, the book forces all of us fish in the bowl to confront the universal medium we are swimming in: the pervasive practices of  surveillance that have colonized our world, from workplace to social space, in the name of efficiency, productivity, and security.”

Megan Richardson, Michael Bryan, Martin Vranken, Katy Barnett, Breach of Confidence: Social Origins and Modern Developments

From Gavin Phillipson (University of Durham): “The authors of this important book have done a great service to our understanding of this fascinating area of law. Their shrewd and scholarly study traces the development and ”myriad reinventions” of this protean doctrine from its eighteen century origins through to its most recent manifestation as a private-facts ”tort” in English law, enriching legal analysis with consideration of the philosophical, social and economic contexts. Common law privacy scholars in particular will find that this book directly illuminates contemporary debates.”

Previous Notable Privacy and Security Book Lists

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2011

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2010

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2009

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2008

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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy and data security training. He also posts at his blog at LinkedIn, which has more than 1 million followers.

Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz, of the International Privacy + Security Forum (Apr. 3-5, 2019 in Washington, DC), an annual event designed for seasoned professionals. 

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