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Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family Paperback – April 16, 2015
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Former White House Chief Information Officer Payton and lawyer Claypoole, authors of Protecting Your Internet Identity, team up again to produce this quick and easy overview of data collection and its relevance in our everyday lives. The authors guide readers through the many ways our personal information is collected and used in today’s society. They are quick to point out the beneficial aspects of technological advancements in commercial, private, and government settings. However, any collection of personal data is susceptible to malicious use. The authors go on to elaborate on the everyday possibilities of hacking, wiretapping, and other big data strategies by marketers and cybercriminals. Most alarming are the implications of data mining for everyday citizens: cybercriminals can and will steal any information, through government or commercial enterprises. Payton and Claypoole provide practical tips and tools for protecting personal data throughout making this a perfect beginner’s guide for anyone looking to stay informed. (Publishers Weekly)
[Data] tracking can always be used by nefarious individuals or groups, but it is part of the way we live now. It is as though highways were also fraught with piracy. That’s the kind of thing we’re dealing with. This is the discussion of the era, and this book is smack in the middle of it. (Jon Stewart, The Daily Show)
Payton and Claypoole intend this book as an overview of the threats facing private citizens in the era of cloud computing and big data. Discussions of privacy in this time take as their departure point the problematic nature of cloud-based computing and of the storage of massive amounts of personal data by businesses, governments, and devices connected to the cloud. The threats reviewed include those associated with mobile access and tracking individuals’ locations, Internet viewing, and the ubiquity of cameras as peripherals on devices. The final section details mitigating risks to individual privacy and reviews legislative efforts that could help. VERDICT Well-researched and well-written, this timely and important addition to the literature on privacy and big data will resonate with researchers of information policy and related legislation. (Library Journal)
I think people out there don’t realize there’s this whole underground economy out there, knives and daggers, people out there trying to get any piece of your data at any cost and at the end of the day we’re the ones who will pay the price. . . This is great advice. (The Willis Report, Fox Business)
Privacy in the Age of Big Data is a valuable source of information, no matter how much you know about cybersecurity; for those who are just starting to protect their data, however, you won’t want to let this book out of your sight. (datascience@berkeley Blog, Berkeley School of Information)
Privacy in the Age of Big Data is a timely publication and one that should find a wide readership in a digital and online landscape that is often only partially understood. As archivists, managing digital data and navigating the cyber world is increasingly important, and this is also true of our social lives. When at work there is a level of protection, or perhaps control, by our employers’ infrastructure: IT services manage and monitor our email and intranet, passwords must be regularly changed or account access will be suspended, security scanning is undertaken as a matter of course, and born-digital material, both published and unpublished, is treated with all the complex care and attention warranted by such vulnerable items. At home the picture might be somewhat different. Reading this book has compelled a change in this reviewer’s digital habits at home and at work, providing the impetus to take charge of my digital and online life. Further, it has opened up my understanding of the digital landscape, providing insights and prompting research into new areas that can only be of service in my role as an archivist. In a cyber world as complex as the one here described, a prompt to attend to the many connected issues both in and out of the archival world is a valuable outcome. This book serves to accentuate the problems and pitfalls of data management in a digital world, whether that data is found in our bodies, homes or in the archive. It provides a thoughtful and readable consideration of the complex interaction of the digital and physical spheres, highlighting the many dangers but always providing practical means to increase understanding, develop useful strategies, and mitigate potential risks. (Archives and Records: The Journal of the Archives and Records Association)
Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family provides a powerful reference focusing on privacy in the digital world, and is a fine pick for any who would consider the ramifications of how data is collected, stored and used. Current practices have created a level of data collection and surveillance never before used: while some of these methods are justified by protection and new services, others intrude on civil liberties. This book considers the pros and cons of new digital surveillance systems and analyzes the dangers of information tracking, offering readers insights into ways we are tracked, and how to change behaviors and activities to regain more privacy. It's an in-depth discussion that should be a part of any social issues or computer science library, offering much food for thought. (Midwest Book Review)
The Pew Internet Research Center noted that 74% of teens use their cell phone for internet access and almost 25% of teens use cell phones almost exclusively to conduct their digital life on the internet. Parents and kids need a guide in the digital age and Payton and Claypoole are your new sherpas to protect your family. Although every chapter of the book has great advice for families, parents and kids should pay special attention to Chapter 6 - The Spy In Your Pocket. This chapter will help parents illustrate to their kids why their words and actions matter. Privacy in the Age of Big Data by Theresa Payton and Ted Claypoole will walk you through the solutions that can help your kids have fun while protecting their privacy and security. A must read for everyone! (Sue Scheff, Nationally Recognized Author of Wit's End; Family Internet Safety Advocate)
People of all ages are increasingly confused about who is collecting their data and why the collection itself could lead to a loss of privacy. Privacy in the age of Big Data by Theresa Payton and Ted Claypoole provides a thoughtful and balanced view on how to harness the power of big data to make it work for you while maintaining the security and privacy of your company and your personal life. Unlike other books, they don't just leave you feeling a sense of dread, they walk you through the steps you can take to combat the threats, know your rights, and protect the privacy and security of your loved ones in the age of big data and surveillance. This book is a must read for all of us that live in this digital age. (Michele Borba, Ed.D., Child Media Expert, Educational Psychologist, and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions)
If you value your privacy, this book is an absolute must read. So many of us have no idea how much of our daily lives is captured, stored and in the possession of someone else. Privacy in Age of Big Data will enlighten you as to how much of your private life is being digitally acquired without your permission or knowledge. (Doris Gardner, FBI Cyber Supervisor (Retired), recipient of FBI Director’s Award (2009))
About the Author
Theresa Payton was White House Chief Information Officer from 2006 to 2008. Prior to working in federal government, Payton held executive roles in banking technology at Bank of America and Wells Fargo. She lives in Charlotte, NC.
Ted Claypoole is a technology attorney and is currently chair of the Cyberspace Law Committee for the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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Anyone who has followed my research and reviews knows that I'm a budding data scientist who condemns unethical use of data analytics; but I like to think that I explain my views in a level headed manner, leaving people without technology backgrounds with actionable information. However, Payton makes me look like a pundit screaming on the local news. She expresses her views without bias or subjectivity in a concise and compact manner (almost to a fault).
This book assumes literally no technological background on behalf of the reader, and follows a logical progression from how your computer is used as a data collection tool to how data is actually used by companies and governments without your consent. And at only 274 pages, I can't imagine the book taking more than a week to read for even the most recreational reader.
The only reason this book didn't get 5 stars was due in part to the overtly compact nature of the book. The book just didn't flow right. Granted, Payton (et al) are covering a vast expanse of knowledge and trying to fit so many facts into 274 pages and properly source each and every quote, factoid, and case study takes talent.
Unfortunately, the book missed its mark there, and would have benefited from an extra 20-25 pages worth the "fluff" and smoother transitions. After all, the intended audience for this work is not the computer and data scientists, but the average every day user. And they/we tend to like our transitions to be smooth. That said, the book wasn't dry. As soon as you start getting a little bogged down in the details, Payton would hit you with another fact or scandal to get your blood boiling again and keep your interest piqued. Some of those facts include:
Facebook owns your gender
Your video viewing habits are confidential
Knowing only your birth date and zip code, researches can track you down 87% of the time
The NSA stores at least 1.7 billion records a day
Target's analytics can determine if a woman is pregnant with 85% accuracy
All in All, this is going to be my go-to book to recommend to my non-IT peers who are interested (or should be) in America's current civil rights fight.
The book is divided into four sections; starting with "The Intersection of Privacy, Law, and Technology”, authors delve into general cyber tracking both by government and individuals, and explain the threats associated with today's malware analysis. Authors wrote:
“Not only Tibetans and Chinese political dissidents need to be concerned with government malware. The Chinese government is apparently also interested in the mobile computers of North American businesspeople and government officials. According to Joel F. Brenner, formerly the top counterintelligence official in the office of the director of national intelligence: “If a company has significant intellectual property that the Chinese and Russians are interested in, and you go over there with mobile devices, your devices will get penetrated.””
More than anything, I enjoyed the diverse array of knowledge and material accumulated by the authors. Moving to risk in the street, authors talk about security camera footage and how it has made detection much more easier. Human DNA and health records are also at risk. Authors identify it as “When the Trophy Is Your Own DNA
" The capture and analysis of genetic material, now part of our celebrity-stalking culture, can be turned against regular citizens as well. Stealing a person’s DNA to find his or her embarrassing family secrets may sound farfetched, but it can be simple to accomplish. The purpose of the theft may not be blackmail, but simply the need to know if the DNA donor was the thief’s real father or birth mother. In a divorce in which child support is at issue, a father could test the DNA of his own children if he suspects his wife of infidelity. Or, a mother could test her children where infidelity is established but child custody is at issue. We may be close to a time in which any person engaged to be married is asked by her betrothed or his parents for her genetic makeup to check for potential time bombs that would exclude her from being a suitable spouse or a suitable mother. Diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Canavan disease are passed on recessive genes and may emerge when two nonsymptomatic carriers of these genes have a baby.[…]”
Excerpt From: Theresa M. Payton. “Privacy in the Age of Big Data.”.
Among various issues presented in the book, authors discuss How to protect individual privacy when the data is stored, How to protect individual privacy when the data is stored in multiple geographic sites or entities, How to protect individual privacy efficiently and How to protect individual privacy when data changes over time. Are you carrying a spy with you whereever you go? How does your nest IoT device tattle on your movements? “What You Watch While Others Are Watching? This book covers a variety of thought provoking questions which we might be too afraid to ask.
Even though authors emphasize that protecting privacy over massive data stored in distributed sites is very important in our daily lives, and different venues of how it impacts us, it provides very little practical advise on how to counter this breach of traditional notion of privacy since there can be serious consequences if the data is released without considering the protection of sensitive information.
An excellent comprehensive reading for everyone involved in big data and cyber-security, or life for that matter.