ATG Book of the Week: Privacy is Power: Why and How You Should Take Back Control of Your Data

by | Jul 14, 2021 | 0 comments

Title: Privacy is Power: Why and How You Should Take Back Control of Your Data
Author: Carissa Véliz
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1787634046, $24.10
Imprint: London: Bantam Press, 2021

As the data economy grows in power, Carissa Véliz exposes how our privacy is eroded by big tech and governments, why that matters and what we can do about it.

“The moment you check your phone in the morning you are giving away your data. Before you’ve even switched off your alarm, a whole host of organisations have been alerted to when you woke up, where you slept, and with whom. As you check the weather, scroll through your ‘suggested friends’ on Facebook, you continually compromise your privacy.

“Without your permission, or even your awareness, tech companies are harvesting your information, your location, your likes, your habits, and sharing it amongst themselves. They’re not just selling your data. They’re selling the power to influence you. Even when you’ve explicitly asked them not to. And it’s not just you. It’s all your contacts too.

Digital technology is stealing our personal data and with it our power to make free choices. To reclaim that power and democracy, we must protect our privacy.

“What can we do? So much is at stake. Our phones, our TVs, even our washing machines are spies in our own homes. We need new regulation. We need to pressure policy-makers for red lines on the data economy. And we need to stop sharing and to adopt privacy-friendly alternatives to Google, Facebook and other online platforms.

“Short, terrifying, practical: Privacy is Power highlights the implications of our laid-back attitude to data and sets out how we can take back control.”

Review

A forceful call for us to tame the data economy by reclaiming our privacy … and our power., Jonathan Zittrain, author of The Future of the Internet

In this bold, original, and engaging book, Carissa Véliz makes a compelling case for the revolutionary goal of reclaiming privacy from the grip of a destructive data economy. While many have lamented the ills of surveillance capitalism, Véliz’s courageous manifesto paves a clear path for regaining power–taking back our ill-gotten information from tech companies and data brokers and reinvigorating democracy in the process., Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology and co-author of The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy

How much does it matter that every day we unwittingly hand over more and more of our personal data to internet giants? In this smart, stylishly written, and alarming volume Carissa Veliz argues that it matters a great deal and that we don’t have to put up with it. Essential reading for those of us who click ‘agree’ ten times a day.Jonathan Wolff, author of An Introduction to Moral Philosophy

You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it’, Scott McNealy once said to reporters. This book is a thoughtful response to the claim of Sun Microsystem’s co-founder. It shows that we still have privacy to lose and why we should protect privacy for ourselves and for others. Engagingly written, clear and admirably brief, Véliz shows how we ended up with societies built around the buying and selling of personal data; why this is bad personally and politically; and what we can do to change things. A fantastic little book., Anabelle Lever, author of On Privacy

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