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The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 121

Daniel J. Solove, THE DIGITAL PERSON: TECHNOLOGY AND PRIVACY IN THE INFORMATION AGE, NYU Press, 2004

17 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2004 Last revised: 19 Jan 2017

Daniel J. Solove

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

THE DIGITAL PERSON: TECHNOLOGY AND PRIVACY IN THE INFORMATION AGE (ISBN: 0814798462) (NYU Press 2004) explores the social, political, and legal implications of the collection and use of personal information in computer databases. In the Information Age, our lives are documented in digital dossiers maintained by hundreds (perhaps thousands) of businesses and government agencies. These dossiers are composed of bits of our personal information, which when assembled together begin to paint a portrait of our personalities. The dossiers are increasingly used to make decisions about our lives - whether we get a loan, a mortgage, a license, or a job; whether we are investigated or arrested; and whether we are permitted to fly on an airplane.

Digital dossiers impact many aspects of our lives. For example, they increase our vulnerability to identity theft, a serious crime that has been escalating at an alarming rate. Moreover, since September 11th, the government has been tapping into vast stores of information collected by businesses and using it to profile people for criminal or terrorist activity.

Do these developments pose a problem? Is it possible to protect privacy in a society where information flows so freely and proliferates so rapidly? THE DIGITAL PERSON seeks to answer these questions. This book explores the problem from all angles - how businesses gather personal information in massive databases; how the government increasingly provides this data to businesses through public records; and how the government is gathering personal data from businesses for its own uses.

THE DIGITAL PERSON not only explores these problems, but also provides a compelling account of how we can respond to them. Using a wide variety of sources, including history, philosophy, and literature, Solove sets forth a new understanding of privacy, 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.

The table of contents and Chapter 1 are available for download.

The full text version can be found at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2899131

Keywords: privacy, information, digital, Fourth Amendment, databases, data mining, Orwell, Kafka

JEL Classification: K10, K11, K13, K14, K20

Suggested Citation

Solove, Daniel J., The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age (2004). Daniel J. Solove, THE DIGITAL PERSON: TECHNOLOGY AND PRIVACY IN THE INFORMATION AGE, NYU Press, 2004; Daniel J. Solove, THE DIGITAL PERSON: TECHNOLOGY AND PRIVACY IN THE INFORMATION AGE, NYU Press, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=609721

Daniel Solove (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-9514 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://danielsolove.com

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