The Privacy Advocates
A number of high-profile conflicts in recent years have brought this international advocacy movement more sharply into focus. Bennett is the first to examine privacy and surveillance not from a legal, political, or technical perspective but from the viewpoint of these independent activists who have found creative ways to affect policy and practice. Drawing on extensive interviews with key informants in the movement, he examines how they frame the issue and how they organize, who they are, and what strategies they use. He also presents a series of case studies that illustrate how effective their efforts have been, including conflicts over key-escrow encryption (which allows the government to read encrypted messages), online advertising through third-party cookies that track users across different Web sites, and online authentication mechanisms such as the short-lived Microsoft Passport. Finally, Bennett considers how the loose coalitions of the privacy network could develop into a more cohesive international social movement.
About the Author
Colin Bennett is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. He is the author of The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance (MIT Press, 2008) and coauthor (with Charles Raab) of The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective (updated paperback edition, MIT Press, 2006).
"The Privacy Advocates will become one of the essential books for understanding privacy issues in this decade."—Privacy Journal
“Academics could benefit from the book’s engagement with theory and practice And activists could benefit from its ability to connect together causes, ideas, and efforts under the banner of privacy.” — John Cheney-Lippold, The Information Society
"A thoroughly researched, well structured, and highly readable account ofthe persons and groups behind the 'privacy movements,' their motivations,strategies, and the conflicts they encounter, this book completes thehighly acclaimed, groundbreaking work on the political analysis ofregulating privacy."
—Herbert Burkert, President, Research Centre for Information Law,University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
"A major contribution to the literature of information privacy and social movements. In this fascinating book, Colin Bennett asks and answers all the key questions about privacy advocates. He explores the who, what, when, and why of policy battles against new surveillance practices. Bennett also provides insightful predictions about the future of networked privacy advocates in civil society."
—Paul M. Schwartz, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
"In this concise, clearly written, and highly informative little volume Colin Bennett continues his scholarly illuminations of the elusive (and sometimes illusive) concept of privacy. However hard to pin down and variable across cultures, there is an increasing, nearly universal sense that many technologically enhanced personal data collection practices go too far. Most of us grimace and bear it, but not those Bennett calls the privacy advocates, who form a loose transnational network. This is their story—told with affection and objectivity, and thoughtfully grounded in the contemporary research literature."
Gary T. Marx, Professor Emeritus, MIT, and author of Undercover: Police Surveillance in America
Semi-finalist, 2008 Donald McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communications Policy Research, given by the Donald McGannon Communication Research Center.