Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2016

By Daniel J. Solove

Posted on January 6, 2017

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Here are some notable books on privacy and security from 2016. 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.


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Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Federal Trade Commission Privacy Law and Policy

From my blurb: "Chris Hoofnagle has written the definitive book about the FTC's involvement in privacy and security. This is a deep, thorough, erudite, clear, and insightful work - one of the very best books on privacy and security."


My interview with Hoofnagle about his book: The 5 Things Every Privacy Lawyer Needs to Know about the FTC: An Interview with Chris Hoofnagle


My further thoughts on the book in my interview post above: "This is a book that all privacy and cybersecurity lawyers should have on their shelves. The book is the most comprehensive scholarly discussion of the FTC’s activities in these areas, and it also delves deep in the FTC’s history and activities in other areas to provide much-needed context to understand how it functions and reasons in privacy and security cases. There is simply no better resource on the FTC and privacy. This is a great book and a must-read. It is filled with countless fascinating things that will surprise you about the FTC, which has quite a rich and storied history. And it is an accessible and lively read too – Chris really makes the issues come alive."


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Gary T. Marx, Windows into the Soul: Surveillance and Society in an Age of High Technology

From Peter Grabosky: “The first word that came to mind while reading this book was cornucopia. After decades of research on surveillance, Gary Marx has delivered an abundant harvest indeed. The book is much more than a straightforward treatise. It borders on the encyclopedic, and is literally overflowing with ideas, observations, and analyses. Windows into the Soul commands the attention of anyone interested in surveillance, past, present, and future. The book’s website contains a rich abundance of complementary material. An additional chapter consists of an intellectual autobiography discussing the author’s interest in, and personal experience with, surveillance over the course of his career. Because of its extraordinary breadth, the book should appeal to a wide readership…. it will be of interest to scholars of deviance and social control, cultural studies, criminal justice and criminology. But the book should be read well beyond the towers of academe. The security industry, broadly defined to include private security and intelligence companies as well as state law enforcement and intelligence agencies, would benefit from the book’s insights. So too should it be read by those in the information technology industries, including the manufacturers of the devices and applications which are central to contemporary surveillance, and which are shaping our future.”


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Susan C. Lawrence, Privacy and the Past: Research, Law, Archives, Ethics

From the book blurb: "When the new HIPAA privacy rules regarding the release of health information took effect, medical historians suddenly faced a raft of new ethical and legal challenges—even in cases where their subjects had died years, or even a century, earlier. In Privacy and the Past, medical historian Susan C. Lawrence explores the impact of these new privacy rules, offering insight into what historians should do when they research, write about, and name real people in their work."


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Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Privacy Revisited: A Global Perspective on the Right to Be Left Alone

From Mark Tushnet: "Professor Krotoszynski provides a valuable overview of how several constitutional systems accommodate competing interests in privacy, speech, and democracy. He shows how scholarship in comparative law can help one think about one's own legal system while remaining sensitive to the different cultural and institutional settings of each nation's law. A very useful contribution."


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Laura K. Donohue, The Future of Foreign Intelligence: Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Age

From the blurb: "Donohue traces the evolution of U.S. foreign intelligence law and pairs it with the progress of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. She argues that the bulk collection programs instituted by the National Security Agency amount to a general warrant, the prevention of which was the reason the Founders introduced the Fourth Amendment. The expansion of foreign intelligence surveillance leant momentum by advances in technology, the Global War on Terror, and the emphasis on securing the homeland now threatens to consume protections essential to privacy, which is a necessary component of a healthy democracy. Donohue offers a road map for reining in the national security state's expansive reach, arguing for a judicial re-evaluation of third party doctrine and statutory reform that will force the executive branch to take privacy seriously, even as Congress provides for the collection of intelligence central to U.S. national security. Alarming and penetrating, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of foreign intelligence and privacy in the United States."


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Gordon Corera, Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage

From Booklist: “A century-spanning history of cyberespionage and the tools that have made it possible. Touching on the NSA, encryption, Chinese censorship, and the emergence of sophisticated hackers, the book will pique readers interested in the geopolitical ramifications of surveillance and the complex relationship between security and privacy in our post-9/11, post-Snowden world.”


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J. Macgregor Wise, Surveillance and Film

From the blurb: "Surveillance and Film is an engaging and accessible book that maps out important themes in how popular culture imagines surveillance by examining key feature films that prominently address the subject. Drawing on dozens of examples from around the world, J. Macgregor Wise analyzes films that focus on those who watch (like Rear Window, Peeping Tom, Disturbia, Gigante, and The Lives of Others), films that focus on those who are watched (like The Conversation, Caché, and Ed TV), films that feature surveillance societies (like 1984, THX 1138, V for Vendetta, The Handmaid's Tale, The Truman Show, and Minority Report), surveillance procedural films (from The Naked City, to Hong Kong's Eye in the Sky, The Infernal Affairs Trilogy, and the Overheard Trilogy of films), and films that interrogate the aesthetics of the surveillance image itself (like Sliver, Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), Der Riese, and Look).


Previous Notable Privacy and Security Book Lists

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2015

Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2014



The preceding is republished on TAP with permission by its author, Professor Daniel Solove, George Washington University School of Law. “Notable Privacy and Security Books from 2016” was originally published January 2, 2017 on Professor Solove’s TeachPrivacy blog, and on his LinkedIn Commentary page. Professor Solove is among LinkedIn’s 150 top influential thought leaders.