Who Owns Information?: From Privacy to Public Access

Anne Wells Branscomb, Author Basic Books $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-465-09175-1
Legal battles pitting individuals seeking privacy against information-based businesses have erupted over unwanted direct-mail solicitations, intrusive telemarketing phone calls and personal medical reports. Harvard-based policy analyst and lawyer Branscomb tackles these and other issues in a valuable, succinct guide to struggles over information assets in our electronic world. In nine case studies, she delves into fuzzy legal areas such as the new realm of electronic messages (e-mail, online information networks), protection of computer software, privacy issues engendered by the advent of Caller ID phone services and the clash between backyard satellite dish owners and cable TV programmers who scramble their images. Chapters also cover the rights to videocassettes and photographs, the federal government's computerized databases and scholars' struggle to gain access to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Demonstrating the glaring inadequacy of current laws to protect information assets and to safeguard individuals' rights, Branscomb urges readers to voice their concerns to their elected representatives so that more comprehensive and humane laws can be passed. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-465-09144-7
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