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Privacy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
 
 

Privacy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Raymond Wacks
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Professor Raymond Wacks is a leading international expert on privacy. For more than three decades he has published numerous books and articles on this controversial subject.
Privacy is a fundamental value that is under attack from several quarters. Electronic surveillance, biometrics, CCTV, ID cards, RFID codes, online security, the monitoring of employees, the uses and misuses of DNA, - to name but a few - all raise fundamental questions about our right to privacy.
This Very Short Introduction also analyzes the tension between free speech and privacy generated by intrusive journalism, photography, and gratuitous disclosures by the media of the private lives of celebrities.
Professor Wacks concludes this stimulating introduction by considering the future of privacy in our society.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the Author


Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Hong Kong.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 836 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199556539
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (21 Jan 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005G6O3J2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #275,537 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you being watched? 15 Aug 2014
By Phillip Taylor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
ARE YOU BEING WATCHED? FREE SPEECH ECLIPSED

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Raymond Wacks has created an in-depth exploration in only 150 pages, of the increasingly complex and controversial subject of privacy with this new addition to the OUP’s ‘Very Short Introduction’ series of pocket-sized books on academic subjects; short enough that is, for beleaguered commuters to read on the train, or, say, harassed lawyers to read in the courtroom corridor.

This book is one of over 200 small-format books in this admirable series which covers everything from African history to Wittgenstein and world trade. Written by experts, they are intended as a stimulating and accessible way into a new subject – and very accessible they are, Professor Wacks’s ‘Privacy’ being a prime example.

As he states in the Preface, Wax’s association with privacy and data protection has been from a legal perspective; the law, in his words, being ‘an indispensable instrument in the protection of privacy.’

The subject however encompasses other dimensions -- social, cultural political and psychological. Wacks’s stated aim is ‘to consider these—and several others -- forces that shape our understanding of this challenging concept.’

Speaking of law and lawyers, there is, to our knowledge, no more erudite and persuasive an advocate for protecting privacy than Wacks. If you ever find yourself in a debate on privacy versus free speech, this is the succinct yet thoroughly researched source of some very effective arguments in favour of privacy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaving (almost) nothing out 14 Oct 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Privacy has increasingly been considered one of the major individual rights. And yet, until recently the right to privacy has not been explicitly defined in almost any legal framework. In the common law jurisdictions the right to privacy has largely been slipped into the law through some high-profile legal cases, of which the most famous instance has been the "Roe v. Wade" case in the United States. This case granted the legal right to abortion by inferring a right to privacy, which for a century had been deemed to stem from "emanations of a penumbra" of the constitution. The right to privacy has been more systematically imbued into the laws of civil law jurisdictions, most notably in recent years the legal system of the European Union. All these examples hopefully illustrate the fact that privacy is not such an easy and straightforward topic as it may at first seem, and this book does a superb job of guiding the reader through many legal and cultural complexities of this intriguing subject.

The book is very good at contrasting different attitude towards privacy in the United States and Europe. However, there is much less attention that is paid to the privacy standard and norms in the rest of the World. The book also deals with the tension that is present between our ideals of privacy and free speech. In particular, it is not always easy to discern when the right to voice one's opinions and broadcast facts about others infringes on the expectation of privacy that we have about our personal lives. This becomes a serious issue for individuals who become public figures: does the fact that they are public figures somehow voids many of their privacy rights?
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaving (almost) nothing out 17 Mar 2010
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Privacy has increasingly been considered one of the major individual rights. And yet, until recently the right to privacy has not been explicitly defined in almost any legal framework. In the common law jurisdictions the right to privacy has largely been slipped into the law through some high-profile legal cases, of which the most famous instance has been the "Roe v. Wade" case in the United States. This case granted the legal right to abortion by inferring a right to privacy, which for a century had been deemed to stem from "emanations of a penumbra" of the constitution. The right to privacy has been more systematically imbued into the laws of civil law jurisdictions, most notably in recent years the legal system of the European Union. All these examples hopefully illustrate the fact that privacy is not such an easy and straightforward topic as it may at first seem, and this book does a superb job of guiding the reader through many legal and cultural complexities of this intriguing subject.

The book is very good at contrasting different attitude towards privacy in the United States and Europe. However, there is much less attention that is paid to the privacy standard and norms in the rest of the World. The book also deals with the tension that is present between our ideals of privacy and free speech. In particular, it is not always easy to discern when the right to voice one's opinions and broadcast facts about others infringes on the expectation of privacy that we have about our personal lives. This becomes a serious issue for individuals who become public figures: does the fact that they are public figures somehow voids many of their privacy rights? One just needs to remember the tragic death of Princess Dianna to realize that these are not just academic debates, but can have potentially deadly real-life consequences.

Another big issue that this book covers is the challenges that are posed to privacy due to new communication technologies, and Internet in particular. On the surface it seems that Internet is a perfect heaven for people who want to explore new ideas, activities or communications. In the words of an old New Yorker cartoon, online no one knows that you are a dog. However, with the increased interconnectivity there is also an increased danger of various websites and companies gathering your personal information and using it later on for whatever purpose they deem fit. In many respects online websites know more about their users than even the most intrusive police states in the past. This book deals with all those new online privacy concerns, and how various jurisdictions and companies are dealing with them.

Overall, this is an interesting and well-balanced book that provides the reader with a history of thinking on the subject of privacy, as well as with some modern and practical considerations. It is a good starting point for anyone who is interested in exploring this subject.
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you being watched? 15 Aug 2014
By Phillip Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
ARE YOU BEING WATCHED? FREE SPEECH ECLIPSED

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Raymond Wacks has created an in-depth exploration in only 150 pages, of the increasingly complex and controversial subject of privacy with this new addition to the OUP’s ‘Very Short Introduction’ series of pocket-sized books on academic subjects; short enough that is, for beleaguered commuters to read on the train, or, say, harassed lawyers to read in the courtroom corridor.

This book is one of over 200 small-format books in this admirable series which covers everything from African history to Wittgenstein and world trade. Written by experts, they are intended as a stimulating and accessible way into a new subject – and very accessible they are, Professor Wacks’s ‘Privacy’ being a prime example.

As he states in the Preface, Wax’s association with privacy and data protection has been from a legal perspective; the law, in his words, being ‘an indispensable instrument in the protection of privacy.’

The subject however encompasses other dimensions -- social, cultural political and psychological. Wacks’s stated aim is ‘to consider these—and several others -- forces that shape our understanding of this challenging concept.’

Speaking of law and lawyers, there is, to our knowledge, no more erudite and persuasive an advocate for protecting privacy than Wacks. If you ever find yourself in a debate on privacy versus free speech, this is the succinct yet thoroughly researched source of some very effective arguments in favour of privacy.

These arguments are all the more convincing in the light of recent technological developments, which worryingly, can be misused, including electronic surveillance, biometrics, CCTV, ID cards, (ID cards? Hate ‘em!) ubiquitous RFID codes on various plastic-y cards, increasingly sophisticated developments in DNA -- and the entire Internet -- and so on – and this list is by no means exhaustive.

Against all this, the tension between privacy and free speech escalates. The danger with any surfeit of privacy legislation is that, like any new development, it can get out of hand. What Dr Johnson might have termed ‘yelps for privacy’ often come from individuals, or institutions ranting about ‘transparency’ then ranting in favour of privacy to cover up things they’d rather you didn’t know about.

We all should have the right to privacy within reason, but when privacy triumphs over freedom of speech, miscreants everywhere get the freedom to do what they want without fear of the pesky press snooping around and finding out. Those with dictatorial tendencies – Stalin, Mao, and Richard Nixon – loved their privacy with a passion. But then again, we ordinary folk treasure privacy too, although not necessarily at the expense of other freedoms.

So what to do? ‘The ideal answer,’ suggests Wacks, ‘is explicit, carefully drafted legislation that creates civil and criminal sanctions for seriously offensive, intentional and reckless intrusion into an individual’s solitude or seclusion and the unauthorized publication of personal information.’

This sounds sensible, even though you might timidly ask, ‘unauthorized by whom?’ In all, however, Raymond Wacks has made a valuable, reasoned and authoritative contribution to the ongoing debate that continues to rage around this thorny subject.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dated, but still good 15 Oct 2011
By Rusty Shackleford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A concise summary of the issue of privacy, this book is somewhat dated as technology changes but it is still a good resource for learning the fundamental properties of the philosophy of privacy. Especially good for college students with too much to read.
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