Understanding Privacy

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In this concise and lucid book, Daniel J. Solove offers a comprehensive overview of the difficulties involved in discussions of privacy and ultimately provides a provocative resolution. He argues that no single definition can be workable, but rather that there are multiple forms of privacy, related to one another by family resemblances. His theory bridges cultural differences and addresses historical changes in views on privacy. Drawing on a broad array of interdisciplinary sources, Solove sets forth a framework ...
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Overview

In this concise and lucid book, Daniel J. Solove offers a comprehensive overview of the difficulties involved in discussions of privacy and ultimately provides a provocative resolution. He argues that no single definition can be workable, but rather that there are multiple forms of privacy, related to one another by family resemblances. His theory bridges cultural differences and addresses historical changes in views on privacy. Drawing on a broad array of interdisciplinary sources, Solove sets forth a framework for understanding privacy that provides clear, practical guidance for engaging with relevant issues.
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Editorial Reviews

Technology Liberation Front
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
Choice
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
The Nation
[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
Anita L. Allen
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".
Peter P. Swire
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.
Jerry Kang
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.
Technology Liberation Front - Adam Thierer
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.
Choice - D. S. Dunn
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.
The Nation - Paul Duguid
[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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674027725
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel J. Solove is Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School.
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Table of Contents

1 Privacy: A Concept in Disarray 1

Privacy: An Issue of Global Concern 2

Technology and the Rising Concern over Privacy 4

The Concept of Privacy 6

A New Theory of Privacy 8

2 Theories of Privacy and Their Shortcomings 12

Methods of Conceptualizing 13

Conceptions of Privacy 14

Can Privacy Be Conceptualized? 37

3 Reconstructing Privacy 39

Method 41

Generality 46

Variability 50

Focus 67

4 The Value of Privacy 78

The Virtues and Vices of Privacy 79

Theories of the Valuation of Privacy 84

The Social Value of Privacy 89

Privacy's Pluralistic Value 98

5 A Taxonomy of Privacy 101

Information Collection 106

Information Processing 117

Information Dissemination 136

Invasion 161

6 Privacy: A New Understanding 171

The Nature of Privacy Problems 174

Privacy and Cultural Difference 183

The Benefits of a Pluralistic Conception of Privacy 187

The Future of Privacy 196

Notes 199

Index 247

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