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

By David Brin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
PRIVACY UNDER SIEGE

Individuals are sacred. The world, the state, the church, the school, all are felons whenever they violate the sanctity of the private heart.

BRONSON ALCOTT

Little in life is as precious as the freedom to say and do things with people you love that you would not say or do if someone else were present.

JANNA MALAMUD SMITH


EMBATTLED CITIZENS

The previous chapter depicted a civilization arming itself with tools of openness, diversity, and accountability, a theme that will be taken up again later in the book. But other factors may prove critical in determining our future, for instance, whether people can maintain their spirit and morale in a technological age that keeps thrusting challenges their way. Ours is a nosy era, in which each day seems to force more intrusions -- by governments, corporations, ex-lovers, busybodies, news reporters, or worrisome strangers -- encroaching on our sense of serenity and solitude.

Later in this chapter we will talk about privacy in more general terms -- how it affects people personally, and how the law has (or has not) adjusted

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Part 1 - A New World 1
  • Chapter One - The Challenge of an Open Society 3
  • Chapter Two - The Age of Knowledge 32
  • Chapter Three - Privacy Under Siege 54
  • Chapter Four - Can We Own Information? 89
  • Part II - Minefields 115
  • Chapter Five - Human Nature and the Dilemma of Openness 117
  • Chapter Six - Lessons in Accountability 149
  • Chapter Seven - The War Over Secrecy 185
  • Part III - Road Maps 231
  • Chapter Eight - Pragmatism in an Uncertain World 233
  • Chapter Nine - Humility and Limits 278
  • Chapter Ten - Global Transparency 309
  • Chapter Eleven - The Road of Openness 325
  • Notes 336
  • Follow-Up 369
  • Acknowledgments 371
  • Index 372
  • About the Author 378
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