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Here are some notable books on privacy and security from 2019. 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.

Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

From Christopher Hoofnagle (University of California, Berkeley): “Zuboff’s book is the information industry’s Silent Spring.”

Julie E. Cohen, Between Truth and Power: The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism

From Joseph Turow (Robert Lewis Shayon Chair Professor, The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania): “Julie Cohen presents a highly knowledgeable, nuanced analysis of the challenges that the twenty-first century’s digital environment presents to the legal and regulatory apparatus, which was built in the industrial age.  Every page holds important insights, and every chapter engages deeply with key social-technological challenges to contemporary legal structures.”

Carrie Goldberg, Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs and Trolls

From New York Times Book Review: “[A] memoir doubling as a rallying cry for privacy justice. . . . Goldberg chronicles in Nobody’s Victim her battle for justice in a tone that is both take-no-prisoners and warmly gregarious . . . The cases she narrates are gut-wrenching, and her conversational approach lightens what could otherwise be an unbearably heavy load. It also makes accessible the complicated legal history leading to our current moment.”

Mary Anne Franks, The Cult of the Constitution

From Danielle Citron (Professor of Law, Boston University Law Schoool): “Mary Anne Franks’s book–in the most thoughtful and engrossing way–takes on central problems of our time. How can we reconcile the Constitution’s aspirations with its founders’ experiences and commitments? Is a document written for the most privileged up to the task of a 21st digital age where people retreat to their polarized corners, where the prevailing view of gun ownership has led to the death of the most vulnerable among us, and where the loudest voices not only crowd out those of the marginalized but act as a brute force to deprive them of their crucial opportunities? Franks, writing with in her characteristically bold and engrossing voice, asks us to think hard about these troubling times and offers a vision of the Constitution that is for all of us, not just the most powerful. Franks is a visionary. She is a deep philosophical thinker who makes her ideas accessible to all of us. In short, this book is a tour de force, a must read.”

Margaret Atwood, The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

From The Boston Globe: “Powerful, revealing, and engaging”


Jeff Kosseff, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet

From Eric Goldman (Professor of Law, Santa Clara University): “Most people benefit from Section 230 every hour, but are unaware it even exists. Jeff Kosseff’s new book provides the first-ever comprehensive history of this monumentally important law. The book’s lucid and reader-friendly style will fully engage Section 230 newcomers; while the book’s many never-before-publicized details will enlighten Section 230 enthusiasts.”


Theodore Franklin Claypoole, Law of Artificial Intelligence and Smart Machines: Understanding A.I. and the Legal Impact  (2018)

From the book description: “How will the law change to accommodate the role of artificial intelligence in society and how much of that change has occurred already? When machines make their own decisions with financial impact, who receives credit or blame? This new guide provides an in-depth examination of how artificial intelligence has evolved, how it will affect the legal profession, and how the law will be reformed to meet the new realities created by AI. Written by high-level industry experts, this guide discusses a wide-range of AI topics including a history and introduction, healthcare regulation, entertainment, labor laws, aviation, military applications, cybernetics and biorobotics, copyright law, cybersecurity issues, product liability, AI and the transactional law practice, the future of AI, and more.”


Jill Elaine Hasday, Intimate Lies and the Law

From Randall Kennedy (Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School): “In Intimate Lies and the Law, Jill Hasday maps a big, fascinating, sobering subject: the law’s regulation (including neglect) of deceptions amongst those closest to us. She explores this difficult terrain masterfully with verve, thoroughness, and a keen eye for the telling detail. She casts in a new light a huge and influential body of law that teems with experiences and lessons that are simultaneously familiar and odd. This is an important book that will be of interest not only to academics but also to general readers. Impressively rigorous, it is also exceptionally accessible.”

Kate Fazzini, Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime

From The Times (UK): “Written almost like a novel, Kingdom of Lies, offers a vivid account of how these gangs of black hat hackers spreading from Romania to China extort money from individuals like me and the most powerful Wall Street banks, and how the white hats are trying to stop these people who can halt global companies in their tracks and produce digital campaigns to sway popular opinion.”

Deborah Lupton, Data Selves: More-than-Human Perspectives

From David Lyon (Queen’s University, Canada): “An exciting study of human-data interactions in a digital era. From digitized pregnancy to worries about the surveillant use of personal data by third parties, there’s much here to stimulate debate. A must-read marker for digital sociology in the twenty-first century.”

Nora A. Draper, The Identity Trade: Selling Privacy and Reputation Online

From Siva Vaidhyanathan (author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy): “While we have been obsession over the ways Facebook and Google have blown away our ability to manage information about ourselves, a fascinating and troubling industry devoted to privacy management has emerged. In this lucid book, Draper reveals the assumptions and ideologies that drive the players in that industry, and thus reveals what’s really at stake as we lurch toward a future we can’t seem to control.”

Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age

From Tim Wu (author of The Curse of Bigness): “Tools and Weapons reads like a techno-legal thriller, yet offers a thorough and eye-opening account of the major tech controversies of the last decade, from NSA spying through AI ethics and the US-China standoff. Brad Smith, a believer that “great power brings great responsibility” makes it evident that the future of humanity may depend on ethical and responsive leadership in the tech industries, and in this book he sets a high bar for his peers.”

Edward Snowden, Permanent Record

From The New York Times: “A riveting account… Reads like a literary thriller… Snowden pushes the reader to reflect more seriously on what every American should be asking already. What does it mean to have the data of our lives collected and stored on file, ready to be accessed―not just now, by whatever administration happens to be in office at the moment, but potentially forever?… When it comes to privacy and speech and the Constitution, his story clarifies the stakes.”

Henry Farrell and Abraham L. Newman, Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle over Freedom and Security

From Peter Swire (Georgia Institute of Technology): “This book persuasively argues that substate actors, including interior ministries and data protection officials, form international networks to accomplish internationally what they cannot win domestically. The clearest value of the book comes from its diverse case studies. The discussion of the 2000 Safe Harbor for commercial transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United States is particularly outstanding.”

Mary D. Fan, Camera Power: Proof, Policing, Privacy, and Audiovisual Big Data

Chris Slobogin (Milton Underwood Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University and author of Privacy at Risk): “Are police-worn body cameras a panacea for the problem of police violence and abuse? Or are they simply another intrusion into privacy that only rarely definitively tells us the full truth about police-citizen interactions? Relying on numerous interviews, close scrutiny of current policy and practice, and insightful analysis of the empirical evidence and scholarship, Fan provides by far the most careful and comprehensive description to date of the controversies surrounding police use of body cameras and the optimal means of using the data they produce.”

Andrea Monti and Raymond Wacks, Protecting Personal Information: The Right to Privacy Reconsidered

From the book description: “The concept of privacy has long been confused and incoherent. The right to privacy has been applied promiscuously to an alarmingly wide-ranging assortment of issues including free speech, political consent, abortion, contraception, sexual preference, noise, discrimination, and pornography. The conventional definition of privacy, and attempts to evolve a ‘privacy-as-a-fence’ approach, are unable to deal effectively with the technological advances that have significantly altered the way information is collected, stored, and communicated. Social media such as Facebook pose searching questions about the use and protection of personal information and reveal the limits of conceiving the right to privacy as synonymous with data protection. The recent European Union’s GDPR seeks to enforce greater protection of personal information, but the overlap with privacy has further obscured its core meaning. This book traces these troubling developments, and seeks to reveal the essential nature of privacy and, critically, what privacy is not.”

Richard E. Miller, On the End of Privacy: Dissolving Boundaries in a Screen-Centric World

From Doug Hesse (University of Denver): “This brilliant book asks profoundly disturbing questions. How might we read and write, think and live when never-disappearing textual selves circulate wildly? How might we teach and learn when screens—and their embodied knowledges, half-truths, and malevolencies—are utterly ubiquitous, endlessly connectable? Miller lucidly stories his way toward answers, braiding narratives that enact as provocatively as they evoke.”

Linnette Attai, Protecting Student Data Privacy: Classroom Fundamentals

From Serena Sacks (Chief Information Officer, Fulton County Schools; 2019 Woman of the Year, Woman in IT Awards): “Ms Attai’s new book on student data privacy is an essential read for every educator. She effectively provides context for the concerns, an educator’s perspective, practical technical knowledge and relevant solutions in accessible language. As the CIO of a large public school district, it would be helpful if all of our Instructional leaders and teachers read this book so that they are knowledgeable about what data privacy means and how to keep student data safe, since it is so dependent on human action.”


Ric Simmons, Smart Surveillance: How to Interpret the Fourth Amendment in the Twenty-First Century

From the book description: “Simmons takes a broad look at the effect of new technologies and privacy, arguing that advances in technology can enhance our privacy and our security at the same time. This book will appeal to academics and students in the field of law, criminology, and political science, and will be of interest to policymakers, judges, lawyers, and lawmakers.”


Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement

STARRED Kirkus Review: “In an important book that goes to the heart of issues at the forefront of contemporary life, Ferguson examines how police departments are now using supposedly ‘objective’data-driven surveillance technologies to work more effectively in a budget-cutting era and to avoid claims of racial bias. In this engaging, well-written narrative, based on studies and a deep understanding of policing, [Ferguson] describes the growing police use of shareddata, its effects on how and where police work, and its usefulness in predicting future criminals . . .Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how technology is changing American policing.”


Lawrence Cappello, None of Your Damn Business: Privacy in the United States from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age

From Sarah Igo (author of The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America): “Tracing a century of debates on topics from national security to reproductive rights, None of Your Damn Business offers a lively, instructive account of Americans’ ambivalent (and often muddled) thinking about privacy”


Previous Notable Privacy
and Security Book Lists

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2018

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2017

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2016

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2015

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2014

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2013

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2012

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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