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The Digital Person

The Digital Person
Daniel J. Solove
New York : New York University Press, 2004
KF1263 .C65 S66 2004

Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, electronic databases are compiling information about you. As you surf the Internet, an unprecedented amount of your personal information is being recorded and preserved forever in the digital minds of computers. For each individual, these databases create a profile of activities, interests, and preferences used to investigate backgrounds, check credit, market products, and make a wide variety of decisions affecting our lives.

The creation and implementation of these databases - which Daniel J. Solove calls "digital dossiers" - has thus far gone largely unchecked. In this startling account, Solove explains why these digital profiles pose a grave threat to our privacy. For example, they increase our vulnerability to identity theft, a serious crime that has been escalating at an alarming rate. Moreover, since September 11, the government has been tapping into vast stores of information collected by businesses and using it to profile people for criminal or terrorist activity.

The Digital Person not only explores these problems, but provides a compelling account of how we can respond to them. Using a wide variety of sources, including history, philosophy, and literature, Solove puts forth a new understanding of what privacy is, one that is appropriate for the new challenges of the Information Age. Solove recommends how the law can be reformed to simultaneously protect our privacy and allow us to enjoy the benefits of our increasingly digital world.

Quoted from dustjacket.