Notable Privacy and Security Books 2018

By Daniel J. Solove

Posted on December 28, 2018

Image: Stack of Privacy and Security books for 2018

Here are some notable books on privacy and security from 2018. To see a more comprehensive list of nonfiction works about privacy and security, Professor Paul Schwartz and I maintain a resource page on Nonfiction Privacy + Security Books.

Image: The Known Citizen book cover

Sarah E. Igo, The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America


From David Greenberg, Washington Post: “[M]asterful (and timely)… Privacy is clearly a protean concept, and Igo deftly reviews the definitions that scholars have offered in their efforts to cage its elusive essence. She judges these attempts helpful but less than conclusive. Her own ambitious solution is to embrace privacy’s multifariousness. In her marathon trek from Victorian propriety to social media exhibitionism, she recounts dozens of forgotten public debates… [U]tterly original.”

Image: The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy book cover

Evan Selinger, Jules Polonetsky, and Omer Tene, The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy


From Danielle Citron (University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law): “For a well-rounded and deeply-informed discussion of the pressing consumer privacy issues of our time, read The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy. This volume is a rare find. It brings together thought leaders from business, government, and different disciplines in academia to explore challenges attending our information society and offer potential solutions. A must read.”


In my blog post and review of the book, I wrote: “This is a truly impressive collection of writings by a wide array of authors from academia and practice. There’s a robust diversity of viewpoints on wide-ranging and cutting-edge issues.”

Image: Re-Engineering Humanity book cover

Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger, Re-Engineering Humanity


From Tim Wu (Columbia Law School): “A magnificent achievement. Writing in the tradition of Neil Postman, Jacque Ellul and Marshall McLuhan, this book is the decade’s deepest and most powerful portrayal of the challenges to freedom created by our full embrace of comprehensive techno-social engineering. A rewarding and stimulating book that merits repeated readings and may also cause you to reconsider how you live life.”


Also check out my interview with Brett Frischmann on the book.

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Ari Ezra Waldman, Privacy as Trust: Information Privacy for an Information Age


From Woodrow Hartzog (Northeastern University Law): “In Privacy as Trust, Ari Ezra Waldman charts one of the most important modern accounts of privacy. This insightful, thorough, and elegantly written book lays the foundation for a better digital world based upon trust in others. A must-read for anyone who cares about the way we talk about and make rules for privacy.”

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Woodrow Hartzog, Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies


From Danielle Citron (University of Maryland School of Law): “With deep insight, passion, and humor, Woodrow Hartzog demands that we see what has been in front us all along yet never meaningfully reckoned with. As Hartzog makes clear, we can design apps, social media, and networked clothing (underwear!) with privacy in mind but we need a plan and this book provides it in spades. This is a defining book for our information age and a must read.”


From my blurb of the book: “Filled with fascinating examples and written in a lively and accessible way, Privacy’s Blueprint is the definitive chronicle of Privacy by Design. This is one of the most important books about privacy in our times.”


Also check out my interview about this book – “Should Privacy Law Regulate Technological Design? An Interview with Woodrow Hartzog

Image: Strategic Privacy by Design book cover

R. Jason Cronk, Strategic Privacy by Design


From my blurb: “Jason Cronk’s Strategic Privacy by Design sets forth a clear, comprehensive, and highly practical blueprint for incorporating privacy into design. Cronk deftly explains the dimensions of privacy in a sophisticated way that is enlightening not just to novices but also to seasoned experts. Cronk’s copious use of concrete examples is some of the very best I’ve seen. Well-organized and accessible, this book has numerous helpful charts and illustrations. This book is an essential resource for engineers as well as privacy professionals.”


Read my interview with Cronk about this book.

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Cyrus Farivar, Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech


From Robyn Greene (The Open Technology Institute at New America): “Cyrus Farivar pulls back the curtain on how the government has transformed everyday technologies into surveillance machines, and public and private places into surveillance traps—part deep-dive into how everything from your smartphone to your home can be used as a surveillance tool, and part crash-course in the court cases that both help and fail to constrain the government’s most privacy-invasive activities. Should be at the top of everyone’s must-read list.”

Image: Blockchain and the Law book cover

Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright, Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code


From Lawrence Lessig (Harvard Law School): “Blockchain and the Law perfectly links technical understanding with practical and legal implications. Blockchains will matter crucially; this book, beautifully and clearly written for a wide audience, powerfully demonstrates how.”

Image: The Right of Publicity book cover

Jennifer Rothman, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World


From Rebecca Tushnet (Harvard Law School): “Jennifer Rothman has written an important, informative study of the right of publicity as it has developed in the United States and its connections to a robust privacy right. By reexamining the past, she has elaborated principles that will be useful in defining both publicity and privacy rights for the digital age.”

Image: Click Here to Kill Everybody book cover

Bruce Schneier, Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World


From the Financial Times: “Schneier skillfully guides readers through serious attacks that have happened already―and moves on to those he believes are just over the horizon…. Schneier sets out detailed solutions that should be required reading for politicians across the world.”

Image: Automating Inequality book cover

Virginia Eubanks, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor


From Henry Giroux (McMaster University): “Startling and brilliant… As Eubanks makes crystal clear, automation coupled with the new technologies of ethical abandonment and instrumental efficiency threaten not only the lives of millions who are viewed as disposable but also democracy itself. If you want to understand how this digital nightmare is reaching deep into the institutions that attempt to regulate our lives, and how you can challenge it, this is a must read.”

Image: Prediction Machines book cover

Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence Hardcover


From Susan Athey (Stanford University): “Prediction Machines is a path-breaking book that focuses on what strategists and managers really need to know about the AI revolution. Taking a grounded, realistic perspective on the technology, the book uses principles of economics and strategy to understand how firms, industries, and management will be transformed by AI.”

Image: Artificial Unintelligence book cover

Meredith Broussard, Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World


From Times Higher Education: “Illustrated with examples from Broussard’s own work and experience, this is an intensely personal journey that gives a real sense of travelling with a friend. Her descriptions of hackathons and other aspects of start-up culture are honest and atmospheric, capturing the social as well as the technical aspects of the marketplace in a way that anchors moments of technical innovation in their time and place. Hopefully, this book will gather a wide general, as well as academic, audience. It deserves to become a classic – but, even more, it deserves to be read and debated.”

Image: The Efficiency Paradox book cover

Edward Tenner, The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do


From Arthur Molella (Smithsonian Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation): “This masterly study challenges naïve assumptions that characterize our twenty-first-century world of electronic hyperefficiency. Computers, big data, and artificial intelligence are too often allowed to supersede human judgment and indeed undermine our very self-confidence as human beings. Yet no electronic machine can match our capacity for the untidy human factors needed to balance the sanitized precision and tunnel vision of our digital devices: holistic thinking, serendipity, and intuition. Tenner urges us to forgive ourselves for being human.”

Image: Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data book cover

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data


From Kevin Werbach (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania): “Anyone interested in the future of business should read this fascinating book as soon as possible. By now it is conventional wisdom–thanks in no small part to Mayer-Schönberger’s previous book–that big data will transform the way firms operate. Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data makes a compelling case that it will change the nature of the market itself. With brilliant insights, it explains how the shift from simple price signaling to data-rich preference matching will determine the winners and losers of the 21st century economy, and thoughtfully outlines steps to curb the excesses of this new environment.”

Image: The Aisles Have Eyes book cover

Joseph Turow, The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power


From Shoshana Zuboff (Harvard Business School): “The store is a battleground for new contests over privacy and individual autonomy. This fact-filled book performs a genuine public service and should put every shopper on high alert.”

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Samantha Barbas, Confidential Confidential: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Notorious Scandal Magazine


From the Wall Street Journal: “In ‘Confidential Confidential,’ law professor Samantha Barbas recounts the inside story of the ‘little magazine that could’ with drama, humor, and verve…Ms. Barbas paces her terrific story well, and the book ends with her cogent analysis of Confidential’s larger significance.”


Previous Notable Privacy and Security Book Lists


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2017


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2016


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2015


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2014


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2011


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2010


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2009


Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2008


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The preceding is republished on TAP with permission by its author, Professor Daniel Solove, George Washington University Law School. “Notable Privacy and Security Books 2018” was originally published December 18, 2018 on Professor Solove’s TeachPrivacy blog. Through TeachPrivacy, Professor Solove produces privacy awareness training and information security awareness training courses.