The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age / Edition 1

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Overview

Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, electronic databases are compiling information about you. As you surf the Internet, an unprecedented amount of your personal information is being recorded and preserved forever in the digital minds of computers. For each individual, these databases create a profile of activities, interests, and preferences used to investigate backgrounds, check credit, market products, and make a wide variety of decisions affecting our lives. The creation and use of these databases—which Daniel J. Solove calls “digital dossiers”—has thus far gone largely unchecked.  In this startling account of new technologies for gathering and using personal data, Solove explains why digital dossiers pose a grave threat to our privacy.

Digital dossiers impact many aspects of our lives. For example, they increase our vulnerability to identity theft, a serious crime that has been escalating at an alarming rate. Moreover, since September 11th, the government has been tapping into vast stores of information collected by businesses and using it to profile people for criminal or terrorist activity. 

THE DIGITAL PERSON not only explores these problems, but provides a compelling account of how we can respond to them.  Using a wide variety of sources, including history, philosophy, and literature, Solove sets forth a new understanding of what privacy is, one that is appropriate for the new challenges of the Information Age. Solove recommends how the law can be reformed to simultaneously protect our privacy and allow us to enjoy the benefits of our increasingly digital world.

Daniel J. Solove is associate professor of law at the George Washington University Law School.  He is the author (with Marc Rotenberg) of INFORMATION PRIVACY LAW. 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This comprehensive analysis of privacy in the information age challenges traditional assumptions that breeches of privacy through the development of electronic dossiers involve the invasion of one's private space.”
-Choice

,

“Solove ultimately is no ‘chicken little’ but an idealist of the best sort, concluding a positive role for law in the problem of privacy. Whether the world will leave Orwell and Kafka behind and evolve into Solove remains to be seen, but herein is offered a plan to achieve that objective.”
-Journal of Information Ethics

,

The Digital Person challenges the existing ways in which law and legal theory approach the social, political, and legal implications of the collection and use of personal information in computer databases. Solove’s book is ambitious, and represents the most important publication in the field of information privacy law for some years.”
-Georgetown Law Journal

,

“Anyone concerned with preserving privacy against technology's growing intrusiveness will find this book enlightening.”
-Publishers Weekly

,

“Solove . . . truly understands the intersection of law and technology. This book is a fascinating journey into the almost surreal ways personal information is hoarded, used, and abused in the digital age.”
-The Wall Street Journal

,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814798461
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2004
  • Series: Ex Machina Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 0.81 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel J. Solove is associate professor of law at the George Washington University Law School. He is the co-author of Information Privacy Law.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The rise of the digital dossier 13
3 Kafka and Orwell : reconceptualizing information privacy 27
4 The problems of information privacy law 56
5 The limits of market-based solutions 76
6 Architecture and the protection of privacy 93
7 The problem of public records 127
8 Access and aggregation : rethinking privacy and transparency 140
9 Government information gathering 165
10 The fourth amendment, records, and privacy 188
11 Reconstructing the architecture 210
12 Conclusion 223
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