The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose between Privacy and Freedom?


A respected futurist advances an argument sure to cause debate -- In a wired world, the best way to preserve our freedom will be to give up our privacy

The Government and the Online Community snipe endlessly over privacy issues: encryption software, the Clipper Chip, Web sites recording your interests and purchases, the need for online anonymity. But award-winning author David Brin asks, What's so great about privacy? We could all be much better off in a society where everyone (not just the government, and not just the rich) could look over everyone else's shoulders.

The Transparent Society details the startling argument that privacy, far from being a right, hampers the real foundation of a civil society: accountability. Using examples as disparate as security cameras in Scotland and Gay Pride events in Tucson, Brin argues that openness is far more liberating than secrecy. The biggest threat to our society, he warns, is that surveillance technology will be used by too few people, not by too many.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Reading, MA
Publication year:
  • 1998


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