End of Privacy

Charles J. Sykes, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-20350-4
Sykes (A Nation of Victims) provides a timely analysis of the challenges to privacy posed by technological change, media aggressiveness, governmental and business intrusion and even our own propensity to share information about ourselves. In today's ""surveillance society,"" Congress has refused to regulate clandestine workplace videotaping or the dissemination of personal information in the private market. To illustrate how pervasive the threat to privacy is, Sykes observes that pressures from criminal courts and from HMOs have eroded the formerly sacrosanct confidentiality of psychotherapy. Sykes finds that privacy is far more respected in Europe, where stringent regulations limit intrusions. While ""the legal remedies for private sector invasions of privacy are virtually nonexistent,"" Sykes suggests that such law might develop. As he looks at both governmental and private-sector encroachments on individual privacy, Sykes comes to the conclusion that, rather than wait for government to rein itself in or regulate the private sector, individuals should be more vigilant about their privacy. They should not only refuse to release personal data but also try to keep ""private lives private."" Sykes concludes his informative tour of the shrinking realm of privacy by warning readers that a recommitment to privacy requires us to ""rethink the reach of the therapeutic state."" (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-312-26830-5
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