A compelling firsthand investigation of how social media and big data have amplified the close relationship between privacy and inequality
Online privacy is under constant attack by social media and big data technologies. But we cannot rely on individual actions to remedy this—it is a matter of social justice. Alice E. Marwick offers a new way of understanding how privacy is jeopardized, particularly for marginalized and disadvantaged communities—including immigrants, the poor, people of color, LGBTQ+ populations, and victims of online harassment.
Marwick shows that few resources or regulations for preventing personal information from spreading on the internet. Through a new theory of “networked privacy,” she reveals how current legal and technological frameworks are woefully inadequate in addressing issues of privacy—often by design. Drawing from interviews and focus groups encompassing a diverse group of Americans, Marwick shows that even heavy social media users care deeply about privacy and engage in extensive “privacy work” to protect it. But people are up against the violation machine of the modern internet. Safeguarding privacy must happen at the collective level.
Alice E. Marwick is associate professor in the Department of Communication and principal researcher at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She splits her time between Chapel Hill and New York City.
“The analyses and arguments are well researched, documented, and above all cogently and convincingly presented. This work will be a point of reference for all subsequent scholarly, journalistic, and political discussions of privacy and the dangers inappropriately mined and shared personal information pose. . . . It should be in every library collection.”—D. Bantz, Choice
“A powerful exploration. . . . The Private Is Political provides a much needed conceptual update to privacy, supplemented by a rich and thoughtful methodology, that should be applauded and referenced in future privacy work.”—Alexis Shore, Convergence
“Drawing on rich insights from people trying to negotiate social media in a range of contexts, The Private is Political reveals the complexity and beauty of privacy in practice. Marwick’s book illuminates why privacy is especially important in a networked world.”—danah boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
“Alice Marwick has written a richly textured, deeply perceptive account of privacy’s impossible, unending, and profoundly unequal burdens.”—Julie E. Cohen, author of Between Truth and Power: The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism
“The Private Is Political is an insightful and provocative book about privacy and marginalized individuals. In a vivid, theoretical, and practical way, this excellent book examines the power dynamics at play with privacy and modern technologies.”—Daniel J. Solove, coauthor of Breached! Why Data Security Law Fails and How to Improve It
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