Garfinkel, Simson. Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. 1st ed. Cambridge, MA: O'Reilly, 2000.

Garfinkel warns of current trends that pose serious risks to individual privacy. His dystopian vision is not one of an Orwellian authoritarian state, since "the age of monolithic state control is over. The future we're rushing towards isn't one where our every move is watched and recorded by some all-knowing 'Big Brother.' It is instead a future of a hundred kid brothers that constantly watch and interrupt our daily lives."

The book details several broad threats to personal privacy:


Like several other authors reviewed in this report, Garfinkel is calling on the reader reject market forces that might be objectionable, rather than complacently accepting them as inevitable results of moving to a new technology. "Technology is not autonomous; it simply empowers choices made by government, business, and individuals. One of the big lessons of the environmental movement is that it's possible to shape these choices through the political process. This, I believe, justifies the involvement of government in the privacy question."

Organizations that are considering the adoption of new ICTs should also heed Garfinkel's concerns. Does the potential value of data collection outweigh the potential privacy risks? What measures will be taken to minimize those risks, protecting the interests of users from corporate exploitation, identity theft, or misappropriation by third parties?

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