The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet 

Privacy and Security, Networks, the Internet, and Cloud Computing and Internet

Article Snapshot


Daniel J. Solove


Yale University Press, 2007


This book looks at how the spread of information on the Internet affects privacy and reputation.

Policy Relevance

New types of legal remedies should be supported to allow people to sue when their privacy is violated.

Main Points

  • The Internet creates a permanent and publicly accessible record of people’s mistakes, secrets, and bad behavior that can damage their reputations for their entire lives.
  • The law should strike a balance between privacy and free speech. Current law favors free speech too much.
    • People should have more control over their information.
    • People should be able to sue for violations of their privacy rights without revealing their identities.
    • Bloggers should be obliged to remove defamatory statements or those that invade privacy.
    • Social networking sites could require users to agree to a certain code of conduct that protects privacy.
  • The law cannot address every aspect of this problem; other solutions must be considered as well.
    • Educating young people about what it is wise or unwise to post online might be helpful.

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