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Privacy Rights in the Digital Age


This encyclopedia discusses the practical, political, psychological, and philosophical challenges we face as technological advances have changed the landscape of traditional notions of privacy.

“Big Data” applications of every sort now permeate our social and civic lives: Orwellian government surveillance in the name of national security; Supreme Court-sanctioned collection of DNA “fingerprints” of criminal suspects; targeted online advertisements tailored to our supposed interests and desires on the basis of our personal online histories; wearable computers with camera and recording features; and GPS systems build into our cell phones that track every movement—such developments no longer shock or even very much surprise us. After considering all this, the real question remains: How are we to maintain privacy rights without sacrificing our technological interests?

 In over 700 easy-to-understand, information-packed pages, this encyclopedia provides:

  • An introduction written by Jane Kirtley, the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at Northwestern University, as well as an essay on cross-cultural perspectives on privacy rights by Julie Ann Embler, an instructor of Law School Admission Test Preparation classes
    at the University of South Florida
  • Over 225 original articles that cover Laws, Legal Cases, Events, Organizations, Individuals, Technology, and important Terms
  • Coverage is international in scope, with an emphasis on U.S. Legal, Technological, Educational, Corporate, and Social Contexts
  • An informative Introduction provides readers with a solid background of the subject matter
  • Primary Source Documents
  • Chronology, Glossary, Bibliography, Subject Index

Coverage is detailed and far-reaching. Entries include social media such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat; amendments in the Bill of Rights most relevant to privacy rights—the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth; and significant Supreme Court cases responsible for shaping our country’s current understanding of privacy rights in a digital age.

Just as important are entries that discuss the theoretical and philosophical basis for our understanding of the concept of privacy, extending from the writings of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers to whistleblowers such as Mark Klein and Edward Snowden. WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, sexting, and emails are just some of the contemporary aspects of privacy rights that this book explores.

Many entries include photographs and illustrations, including cartoons by Herbert Block, an American editorial cartoonist and author known for his commentaries on national domestic and foreign policy. The backmatter continues with a reprint of the Privacy Rights Act of 1974, Glossary of terms, two valuable tables listing court cases and statutes related to privacy rights, and Index.

Designed for undergraduates, high school students, and general non-specialists, Privacy Rights in the Digital Age presents a current, balanced, and reliable collection of material to map the emerging privacy terrain in an easy-to-understand, thought-provoking manner.


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Pub. Date: May 2019
Hardcover: 788 pages
ISBN: 978-1-64265-077-8
Price: $165
Includes Free Online Access on the Salem Press Platform
e-ISBN: 978-1-64265-078-5
eBook User Price: $206