Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age

Michael Chertoff. Atlantic Monthly, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2793-8
Chertoff, former federal appeals court judge and secretary of homeland security from 2005 to 2009, argues bluntly in this useful overview of the scope and implications of the data revolution that the general notion of privacy, as “the ability to hide or shield our actions and thoughts from prying eyes” is too narrow a value. In a world governed by data analytics, Chertoff asserts, “what we can and should care about is the broader value of autonomy, which is at the very core of freedom.” He makes clear the alarming extent that personal autonomy—“the freedom to make personal choices that affect our values and our destiny”—is in jeopardy today and the necessary legal changes needed to retain it. He begins with the basics of how digital communications work and then provides a history of surveillance in America. Wireless internet access, smart phones, and cloud storage have rapidly increased the rate of data collection and analysis in the private sector, allowing companies to sell targeted ads and, more significantly, assess the behavior of individual users and then sell that information to other companies for purposes like insurance provider pricing. Chertoff proposes common-sense recommendations as to how laws should change to keep pace with evolving technology, advocating for stronger restrictions on government and corporate “analysis, dissemination and use” of data. This book works as both a Big Data primer and a clear-sighted road map for legislative changes from a previous high-profile proponent of government surveillance. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 07/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-0-8021-6578-7
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-8021-4719-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-462-8
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