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Notable Privacy Security Books 2017 - TeachPrivacy 01

Here are some notable books on privacy and security from 2017. 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.

Fourth Amendment in Age of Surveillance

David Gray, The Fourth Amendment in an Age of Surveillance (2017)

From Christopher Slobogin (Vanderbilt University Law School): “Technology has so rapidly expanded the scope of government surveillance that current legal constraints on its use have become obsolete. In this book, David Gray proposes a completely novel yet conceptually elegant and eminently workable way of balancing the competing law enforcement and privacy interests at stake, all while remaining faithful to the text and history of the Constitution.”


Josh Lauer, Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America (2017)

From Rowena Olegario (University of Oxford): “Consumer credit reporting is ubiquitous, but its pioneering role in the surveillance of consumers has been poorly understood―until now. Josh Lauer has dug deep into the historical sources and marshaled his findings into a rich and cohesive narrative that encompasses business dynamics, social norms, technology, and regulation. This book will become the indispensable source on the history of both consumer credit reporting and the surveillance society.”

Rise of Big Data Policing

Andrew Gunthrie Ferguson, The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement (2017)

From Jeffrey Fagan (Columbia University): “The Rise of Big Data Policing shifts our frame of reference on modern policing from the celebration of aggressive patrol tactics to urgent questions of the role new police technologies in the production of security, the risks to freedom, and the levers of social control in the expanding surveillance state. Andrew Ferguson opens a window to define, categorize, understand, and showcase the transformation and digital deregulation of policing, and its implications for liberty and security.”

Bulk Collection

Fred H. Cate & James X. Dempsey editors, Bulk Collection: Systematic Government Access to Private-Sector Data (2017)

From Senator Patrick Leahy: “Jim Dempsey and Fred Cate have compiled both a remarkable survey of surveillance practices around the world and a pragmatic framework of accountability and oversight principles that can protect human rights while defending national security.”

Poverty of Privacy Rights

Khiara M. Bridges, The Poverty of Privacy Rights (2017)

From Anita Allen (U. Pennsylvania Law): “The Poverty of Privacy Rights pushes the conceptualization of legal rights into a new and useful direction, establishing a sturdy platform for intelligent advocacy on behalf of poor people and their dignity. Khiara Bridges’ deep knowledge of the social welfare and healthcare system, and the conversations her book invites will bring more privacy concerns affecting the poor to the forefront.”

Aisles Have Eyes

Joseph Turow, The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power (2017)

From Ira Rubinstein (New York University School of Law): “A revelatory look at the new forms of surveillance in the seemingly mundane world of brick-and-mortar stores. We are indebted to Turow for teasing out the privacy implications of our everyday shopping experiences.”

Family Secrets

Deborah Cohen, Family Secrets: Shame and Privacy in Modern Britain (2017)

From Hilary Mantel: “A well-researched, timely, and absorbing book, it challenges many of our prejudices about how our immediate ancestors thought, and invites us to enquire more closely into how and when and why families keep secrets and guard their privacy.”

Listening In

Susan Landau, Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age (2017)

From Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard University Law School): “Susan Landau has performed a remarkable feat of public service with Listening In: she simplifies the complex contemporary debate around privacy and security trade-offs in a way that welcomes anyone with an interest in these topics to engage with them — and she demonstrates why everyone should.”

We Are Data

John Cheney-Lippold, We Are Data: Algorithms and The Making of Our Digital Selves (2017)

From Siva Vaidhyanathan (University of Virginia): “This book sparkles with brilliant insights. It offers us tools and a vocabulary through which we can think about the layers of identities that our data-conjured ghosts inhabit. I don’t think I fully grasped the complexity of what these clouds of commercial data did with us and to us until I read We Are Data.”


Jane Frankland, InSecurity: Why a Failure to Attract and Retain Women in Cybersecurity is Making Us All Less Safe (2017)

From Gary Hayslip (Vice President & CISO of Webroot): “Thought provoking stories that drive home the point that women must be included in the cybersecurity community for it to mature and meet its current and future threats.”

Being Watched

Jeffrey L. Vagle, Being Watched: Legal Challenges to Government Surveillance (2017)

From Ben Wizner (ACLU): “In Being Watched, Jeffrey Vagle weaves together cultural, social, and legal history to tell a tale about how America’s surveillance regime has largely managed to steer clear of meaningful checks and balances. Being Watched is an expert’s account of government surveillance in America stretching from the Civil War to our present post-Snowden moment, filled with details useful to the scholar and the general public alike.”

Previous Notable Privacy and Security Book Lists

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 Privacy + Security Forum (Oct. 4-7, 2017 in Washington, DC), an annual event designed for seasoned professionals. 

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