O'Reilly logo

Database Nation by Simson Garfinkel

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

It's In Our Hands

For more than twenty years, the United States government has lacked a consistent commitment to protect the privacy of its citizens. There are many explanations for this sorry state of affairs, from the overwhelming influence of business in politics to the lack of a seminal event for the public to rally around. Many political scientists trace Europe's strong interest in privacy back to the excesses of Hitler, who used personal records to locate, round up, and execute Jews, liberals, and political enemies. The U.S., fortunately, has not experienced a similar event.

But public sentiment is changing. This past summer, the Federal Trade Commission issued a statement saying that the policy of protecting consumers' online privacy through industry self-regulation and self-policing largely had failed, and that it was time for Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to address the issue. This came as the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was considering not one, but three separate bills that would mandate differing degrees of Internet privacy protection. A bill regulating some aspect of Internet privacy is likely to pass in the coming year.

Today, many people live in two worlds: the online world and that of "real life." But this duality is quickly eroding. Pervasive technology is erasing many of the traditional differences between the online world and the offline world, and the fusion of the two worlds is proceeding at a blinding pace. It's ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required