Nov 14, 2020 in Politics

Privacy summaries

Book Summaries

The role of privacy is of utmost importance as it is one of the fundamental human rights that ensures a chance to every independent person to be left free from public attention. Privacy is a natural right of people that allows them to hide personal information from public, lead lives in a way that excludes public scrutiny, and preserve personal autonomy and the feeling of independence. However, the information age, the century of big data, and continuous technological advancements simplify access to personal information and threaten the issue of privacy. The current paper aims to summarize main ideas presented in the books Privacy in the Age of Big Data by Payton and Claypoole, and Privacy in the Information Age by Henderson.


According to the claims of Payton and Claypoole (2014), the authors of informative book about privacy matters in the epoch of big data, the issue of privacy is very complex and, unfortunately, many users do not realize the full extent to which personal information is collected, stored, accumulated, and utilized in order to control lives of people. The book by Payton and Claypoole (2014) consists of several interconnected chapters that introduce the subject of privacy and assess its functional significance; describe the link between privacy, law, and technological advancements; review the most common risks associated with personal data breach; explore how personal technology usage daily steals peoples privacy; provide simple and effective strategies that enable every reader not only to recognize existing threats but also learn how to protect personal information (Payton & Claypoole, 2014). The researchers emphasize that the concept of privacy is predominant as it is directly linked to a variety of freedoms and responsibilities typical to democratic societies. Although technology interferes with personal life of every individual who extensively uses it, humans should care about their personal data as the issue of privacy remains crucial to democracy, economics, personal well-being and security. Furthermore, the authors of the book Privacy in the Age of Big Data provide convincing evidence that the role of privacy is principal as it enhances freedom of choice, promotes autonomy, secures human dignity, and protects every conscious and clever person from coercion. On the contrary, breach of personal data and loss of anonymity may result not only in limited freedom and increased vulnerability, but also in failure to keep secrets and protect sensitive information (Payton & Claypoole, 2014). Moreover, much attention is paid in this book to numerous examples of privacy risks that exist outside computers as significant percentage of businesses and shopping centers install cameras in order to store and use information for personal protection (Payton & Claypoole, 2014).

The authors come to conclusions that protection of personal information should remain the priority for every person because privacy risks are everywhere in modern globalized and technology-dependent world that carries a tremendous potential of invading human privacy (Payton & Claypoole, 2014). Thus, because such activities as tracking, recording, and utilizing peoples movements and behaviors often lead to threatening privacy concerns, people should be aware that they are constantly watched, and, therefore, try to hide and protect their personal sensitive information from public. Payton & Claypoole (2014) describe and assess a variety of simple but useful tactics and behaviors that ensure a chance to every person to use digital devices skillfully, safeguard personal data, limit the amount of electronic windows in own homes, and remember that personal data breach may result in devastating and irreversible consequences.

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Henderson, the author of the another educational book Privacy in the Information Age (2006), promotes the idea that the value of privacy in the era of extensive technological advancements is limitless because breach and disclosure of individual information may put at risk personal and professional lives of people (Henderson, 2006). According to the estimations of the author of the book, despite the fact that the issue of privacy is multidimensional and usually interpreted differently, freedom from interference should be associated with the ability of people to control access and protect private information. This book should be included to the list of the most important instructional resources that clearly, analytically, comprehensively, and critically investigate and evaluate the issue of privacy (Henderson, 2006). Because this book is presented in an approachable style, it may be used by different categories of readers as a reference for further research investigations as well as interesting introductory source of literature. Henderson (2006) stresses that the phenomenon of privacy in the epoch of information technologies should draw a lot of attention because overdependence on technological innovations not only offers limitless opportunities, but also causes severe problems concerning social security (Henderson, 2006).

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This edifying book explores the concept and meaning of privacy in the information age as well as assesses the significance of privacy, security and protection. Moreover, it provides its readers with precise, accurate, and descriptive information needed to understand, define, adequately assess, and research the role and importance of privacy for every person (Henderson, 2006). In addition, the author of the book pays attention to the tight link among privacy, social and political spheres, economics, and personal well-being of people. The author convinces the readers that it is an integral right of every human being to have an opportunity to protect personal information and control how their personal data is obtained, processed, and utilized (Henderson, 2006).

In conclusions, despite the fact that rapid technological innovations have resulted in significant benefit, this factor often leads to invasion of privacy and personal data breaches. The authors of two books about privacy issues and concerns in the information age emphasize on the increased need not to disclose sensitive information, control personal data, and maximize security efforts because personal information leakage and anonymity losses are the main causes of disastrous consequences that put at risk personal and professional lives of people. Thus, the role of these two books is essential as these valuable resources provide readers with accurate and precise information regarding meaning and significance of privacy in the epoch of big data and digital technologies.


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