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Understanding Privacy 2/28/10 Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674035072
ISBN-10: 0674035070
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Understanding Privacy
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  • Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff between Privacy and Security
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  • Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life (Stanford Law Books)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Daniel Solove offers a unique, challenging account of how to think better about-- and of-- privacy. No scholar in America is more committed to demystifying "the right to privacy". (Anita L. Allen, University of Pennsylvania Law School)

Daniel Solove has had the patience and insight to lay privacy bare. This is the most thorough and persuasive conceptualization of privacy written to date. Solove's taxonomy of privacy will become the standard tool for analyzing privacy problems. (Peter P. Swire, C. William O'Neill Professor of Law and Judicial Administration, Ohio State University)

One of the topic's most prolific and thoughtful thinkers, Daniel Solove has written a clear and comprehensive analysis of privacy. In it, he explains why it has been so hard to conceptualize this thing called privacy, and provides a pragmatic, bottom-up understanding. This book will promote sharper thinking and analysis for the next generation of privacy scholarship and policy. (Jerry Kang, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law)

With the publication of Understanding Privacy, Daniel J. Solove has firmly established himself as one of America's leading intellectuals in the field of information policy and cyberlaw...Solove has now elevated himself to that rarefied air of "people worth watching" in the cyberlaw field; an intellectual--like Lawrence Lessig or Jonathan Zittrain--whose every publication becomes something of an event in the field to which all eyes turn upon release...Make no doubt about it, Daniel Solove's book--and his approach to classifying and dealing with privacy problems--will have a profound impact on all future privacy debates. In that sense, it is a vital text; a must read for all who follow, or engage in, privacy debates. (Adam Thierer Technology Liberation Front 2008-11-08)

Instead of reducing this subject to an academic parlor game, Solove uses interdisciplinary sources to offer a convincing argument about why everyone should care deeply about understanding the nature of privacy. Legal scholars will want to read this book, but so will psychologists, communication specialists, public policy makers, philosophers, and anyone interested in where to draw the line between public and private life. (D. S. Dunn Choice 2008-11-01)

[A] thoughtful examination of the concept of privacy: what it is, why it seems forever under threat and why we continue to fight for it...[Solove's] is a pragmatic, contextual approach that tries to understand privacy in practice rather than in theory. (Paul Duguid The Nation 2010-04-05)

Review

Daniel Solove offers a unique, challenging account of how to think better about-- and of-- privacy. No scholar in America is more committed to demystifying "the right to privacy". (Anita L. Allen, University of Pennsylvania Law School) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 2/28/10 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674035070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674035072
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. K. Citron on June 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It can often seem that we have no secrets--students trumpet their relationship status and crushes on Facebook, data brokers sell our Social Security numbers for a small fee, grocery stores know our eating habits and can guess to the dime what we will appear in our carts at check out every Sunday. So why bother caring about privacy if we really do not have any and cannot control it anyway?

In a beautifully rendered and important book, Professor Solove helps answer that question (and many others) and, in the process, deepens our appreciation of how much privacy is really at stake and why it matters.

Understanding Privacy carefully lays out the different ways our privacy is compromised and the harm that can result. The book brings alive the fact that when our privacy is threatened, individuals are not alone in suffering harm. To be sure, a person whose privacy is compromised experiences problems, from identity theft when a Social Security number is released to a thief to lost job opportunities when drug testing results taken for sports programs make their way to future employers. But, as this book so ably demonstrates, society as a whole suffers as well.

Understanding Privacy illuminates the kaleidoscopic interests at stake and offers a principled way for us to face them. As technology marches on, our privacy is increasingly compromised. Telephone companies store our incoming and outgoing calls, search engines know what we are interested in, and the government mines our information. But, as this book makes clear, businesses, government, and people are in charge of those technologies and have important decisions to make about the information that they amass, use, and disclose, and the activities that they watch. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to appreciate the philosophical and practical questions at issue in our information age.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up this book because I was working on a college report dealing with privacy. I love this book--it has deepened my understanding of privacy. Solove presents a taxonomy of privacy harms, listing four major and about 16-20 minor categories of privacy harm, covering a wide range of topics and examples as well as legal precedents and cultural differences. I have not seen so complete an exploration of privacy, although I still don't think this book alone will give a full understanding of privacy. Solove doesn't directly address data permanence or long-term storage as a harm (though it might obliquely fall under his "data processing" category). A student of privacy probably ought to understand various forms of privacy protection as well, such as Safe Harbor (though it was not intended as a model, it is still instructive).

I believe this book is a must-read for any student of privacy. If you don't want to buy this book yet, I recommend finding a copy of his paper "'I've Got Nothing to Hide', and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy". That paper outlines his taxonomy, and does a very good job of defending privacy in the digital age. You might be able to find the paper online for free.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Daniel Solove's book -- and his approach to classifying and dealing with privacy problems -- will have a profound impact on all future privacy debates. In that sense, it is a vital text; a must read for all who follow, or engage in, privacy debates.

On the other hand, Solove's claim that he can construct a new paradigm based strictly on a pragmatic, utilitarian, "problem-solving" approach, is ultimately a failure. There is just no getting around the fact that, at some point, you are going to have to provide a more robust theory of rights or justice to explain why one right trumps another. He fails to do so in this book.

Read my complete review here:

[...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a law school class but have ended up recommending it to several friends. I honestly don't know who has my copy right now, but I would highly recommend getting to know the ins and outs of modern day privacy, especially through this book.
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Format: Paperback
Please consider making one, Audible.
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