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
what do we know?
what do we know?
Part of the problem with internet privacy is that we don’t know everything. Much of what we do know we only discover a significant time after the event. The Snowden revelations in 2013 revealed a set of programmers that had already been in operation for years. The histories of Facebook and Google are littered with examples of egregiously privacy-invasive programmes and ideas being discovered after they have been running for some time just to be abandoned with a little mea culpa from the companies.
We know what we know to a significant extent because of the work of hackers, leakers and investigative journalists – and we also know that there is a great deal that has not been ...