Fifty years ago, in 1984, George Orwell imagined a future in which privacy was demolished by a totalitarian state that used spies, video surveillance, historical revisionism, and control over the media to maintain its power. Those who worry about personal privacy and identity--especially in this day of technologies that encroach upon these rights--still use Orwell's "Big Brother" language to discuss privacy issues. But the reality is that the age of a monolithic Big Brother is over. And yet the threats are perhaps even more likely to destroy the rights we've assumed were ours. Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century shows how, in these early years of the 21st century, advances in technology endanger our privacy in ways never before imagined. Direct marketers and retailers track our every purchase; surveillance cameras observe our movements; mobile phones will soon report our location to those who want to track us; government eavesdroppers listen in on private communications; misused medical records turn our bodies and our histories against us; and linked databases assemble detailed consumer profiles used to predict and influence our behavior. Privacy--the most basic of our civil rights--is in grave peril. Simson Garfinkel--journalist, entrepreneur, and international authority on computer security--has devoted his career to testing new technologies and warning about their implications. This newly revised update of the popular hardcover edition of Database Nation is his compelling account of how invasive technologies will affect our lives in the coming years. It's a timely, far-reaching, entertaining, and thought-provoking look at the serious threats to privacy facing us today. The book poses a disturbing question: how can we protect our basic rights to privacy, identity, and autonomy when technology is making invasion and control easier than ever before? Garfinkel's captivating blend of journalism, storytelling, and futurism is a call to arms. It will frighten, entertain, and ultimately convince us that we must take action now to protect our privacy and identity before it's too late.
Table of contents
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- 1. Privacy Under Attack
- 2. Database Nation
3. Absolute Identification
- On the Identification of infants
- Anthropometrical Signalment
- The Science of Fingerprints
- Dna Identification
- Computerized Biometrics
- Identifying Bodies, Not People
4. What Did You Do Today?
- The Information Crisis
- False Data Syndrome
- The Tracking Process: How Our Information is turned Against Us
- The Biggest Database In the World
- The Age of Public Statements
- Smart Machines Create Active Databanks
- Turning Back the Information tide
- 5. The View From Above
6. To Know Your Future
- No Bigger Gap
- The Medical Records Fairy Tale
- Privacy Is Your Doctor’s Responsibility
- Privacy Is Not Your insurance Company’s Responsibility
- Nobody Knows the Mib
- Forcing Physicians To Lie
- A Right To Your Self
- A Right To Your Past
- Computerized Patient Records: the promise
- Computerized Patient Records: the threat
- Other Threats
- Rethinking Medical Care And medical Insurance
7. Buy Now!
- Marketing And the Knowledge Crisis
- They’ve Got You Targeted: the Process of Direct Marketing
- Taking Direct Action against direct Marketing
8. Who Owns Your Information?
- Do You Own your Name?
- Do You Own your Feet?
- Do You Own your Books?
- Do You Own What you Do?
- Do You Want To Use Ownership to Protect your privacy?
- 9. Kooks and Terrorists
- 10. Excuse Me, But Are You Human?
- 11. Privacy Now!
- 12. Epilogue: One Year Later
- A. Annotated Bibliography
- B. Acknowledgments
- About the Author
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- Title: Database Nation
- Release date: December 2000
- Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
- ISBN: 9780596001056
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