NO PLACE TO HIDE: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society

Robert O'Harrow, Author Free Press $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5480-9

The amount of personal data collected on ordinary citizens has grown steadily over the decades, and after 9/11, corporations that had been amassing this information largely for marketing purposes saw an opportunity to strengthen their ties with the government. But what do we really know about these data collectors, and are they trustworthy? O'Harrow, a Pulitzer finalist who covers privacy and technology issues for the Washington Post , tracks the explosive growth of this surveillance industry, with keen attention to the problems that "inevitable mistakes" along the way have created in mainstream society, from victims of identity theft who have been placed in financial jeopardy to travelers detained at the airport because of the similarity of their names to those of criminal suspects. O'Harrow gives the government's push for increased surveillance heavy play, but he effectively presents the story's many sides, as when he juxtaposes the perspectives of a Justice Department attorney, a civil liberties activist and Senator Patrick Leahy in the first chapter. His evenhanded account underscores the caveats of surveillance, as well-intentioned people can deploy technologies for all the right reasons only to see their apparatuses misused later on. This is a thought-provoking, comprehensive account that strikes the right balance between dismissive and alarmist. Agent, Amy Rennert . (Jan. 12)

Reviewed on: 11/29/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
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FORMATS
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-7432-8705-0
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-7432-7659-7
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