What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Internet Privacy? Is part of a new book series offering short, up-to-date overviews of key issues often misrepresented or simplified in the mainstream media. In this book, Paul Bernal addresses the issue of privacy on the internet and how it is challenged in a wide variety of ways – from large social media companies, whose entire business models are based on privacy invasion, through the developing technologies of facial recognition and the internet of things, to the desire of governments to monitor our every activity online. The book begins with an analysis of how the internet became what it is today, before moving onto an exploration of where we are now, looking at how the current manifestation of the internet works for people, for companies and for governments. This is followed by coverage of the new privacy battlefields of location data, health data, facial recognition and other biometrics, the internet of things and the increasingly contentious issue of political data and political manipulation. The author then proposes “What We Should Do” about the problems surrounding internet privacy, these include significant changes in government policies – reversing the current ‘war’ on encryption, challenging the idea that ‘real names’ would improve the discourse on social networks, and being brave enough to take on the internet giants. Series Editor: Professor Chris Grey, Royal Holloway, University of London
It is easy to be despondent about internet privacy. We rely on the internet in a way that we have never relied on a single form of technology at any time in the past. We need it for our communications, as our route to information, as part of our working lives and our personal lives. It is how we find our entertainment and how we access news. It is where the media functions and where politics functions. Our freedom in almost all aspects of the ‘real’ world is tied to our freedom on the internet – and that freedom is dependent on our ability to protect our privacy, as the many examples discussed in this book should make clear.
At the same time, as ...