Notable Privacy and Security Books 2010

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

Notable Privacy Security Books 2010 - TeachPrivacy 01

Here’s a list of notable privacy books published in 2010.

Adam D. Moore, Privacy Rights: Moral and Legal Foundations (Penn. St. U. Press 2010)

My blurb: “Privacy Rights is a lucid and compelling examination of the right to privacy.  Adam Moore provides a theoretically rich and trenchant account of how to reconcile privacy with competing interests such as free speech, workplace productivity, and security.”

On Rumors

Cass Sunstein, On Rumors (Farrar , Strauss and Giroux 2009)

A very short essay on the damage wrought by false online rumors and a discussion of how and why such rumors spiral out of control, such as the phenomena of social cascades and group polarization.  The book is worth reading, but quite short for a book (only 88 pages of primary text, in a very tiny book the size of a paperback).

Skating on Stilts

Stewart Baker, Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism (Hoover Institution Press 2010)

A provocative argument for stronger security protections and a vigorous attack on privacy.  The arguments against privacy are often glib and dismissive, but the book is worth reading for Baker’s extensive personal experience dealing with the issues.

Islands of Privacy

Christena Nippert-Eng, Islands of Privacy (U. Chicago 2010)

A fascinating sociological account of people’s attitudes toward privacy and their behaviors with regards to preserving their privacy.  It contains numerous interviews, quoted copiously, of people in their own voices discussing how they conceal their secrets.  Engaging and compelling reading.

The Peep Diaries

Hal Niedzviecki, The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors (City Lights Press 2009)

This book is an extended essay on self-exposure online.  It is filled with many interesting anecdotes.  The book has a journalistic style and raises observations and questions more than it proposes solutions or policies.  The “notes” at the end consist only of a brief bibliography for each chapter, and there are no indications of which facts in the book came from which particular sources — a pet peeve of mine.

At Home

Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Doubleday 2010)

An extensive history of the home, which as I’ve explored in some of my own writings, plays an important role in the history of privacy.  Bryson’s narrative reads well, but he only supplies a bibliography at the end — no endnotes or indications of the sources of particular facts and details.  I find this practice to be quite problematic for a work of history.

The Watchers

Shane Harris, The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State (Penguin 2010)

An engaging narrative that chronicles the surveillance and security measures the United States undertook after 9/11.  Filled with interesting facts, the book reads like a story.

Outrageous Invasions

Robin D. Barnes, Outrageous Invasions: Celebrites’ Private Lives, Media, and the Law (Oxford 2010)

There are some very interesting parts of this book, but it at times seems like a grab bag of topics relating to celebrities and its central argument could use more development.  Nevertheless, it is worth reading because it discusses some interesting cases and explores comparative legal perspectives on the issues.

The Facebook Effect

David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect (Simon& Schuster 2010)

A fascinating account of the rise of Facebook.  There are times when Kirkpatrick seems too sympathetic to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, but overall, this book is illuminating and engaging.

Delete The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age

Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age (Princeton 2009)

An interesting discussion of the “right to be forgotten.”  Some of the ground in this book appears to be already well-trodden, but Mayer-Schonberger’s keen insights on data retention and destruction make it a worthy addition to the literature.

Originally Posted at Concurring Opinions

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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. Professor Solove also posts at his blog at LinkedIn. His blog has more than 1 million followers.

Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz, of the Privacy + Security Forum and International Privacy + Security Forum, annual events designed for seasoned professionals.

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