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



From something that even a few years ago was largely the province of only a few geeks and nerds, internet privacy has more recently become a subject of interest to pretty much everyone. In 2013, Edward Snowden made surveillance by governments headline news across the globe. The way that what we browse and search for on the internet is used to target advertisements to us – sometimes with disturbingly creepy precision, at other times with almost humorous inaccuracy – and is something with which we are all familiar. The possibility that we are being manipulated through Facebook – indeed that we have already been manipulated through Facebook, with potentially devastating consequences for our whole democratic system – is quite another matter, and one ...

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