Within a remarkably short period of time– less than two decades– all of us have become immersed in a sea of electronic data collection. Our purchases, communications, Internet searches, and even our movements all generate collectible traces that can be recorded, packaged, and sold or exploited.
Before we have had a chance to collectively think about what this phenomenal growth in data production and collection means, and to decide what to do about it, it threatens to become an irreversible feature of our lives.
In his new book Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World (Norton, 2015), author and security technologist Bruce Schneier aims to forestall that outcome, and to help recover the possibility of personal privacy before it is lost or forgotten.
“Privacy is not a luxury that we can only afford in times of safety,” he writes. “Instead, it’s a value to be preserved. It’s essential for liberty, autonomy, and human dignity.” . . .