Life after Privacy: Reclaiming Democracy in a Surveillance Society

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 8, 2020 - Law - 180 pages
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Privacy is gravely endangered in the digital age, and we, the digital citizens, are its principal threat, willingly surrendering it to avail ourselves of new technology, and granting the government and corporations immense power over us. In this highly original work, Firmin DeBrabander begins with this premise and asks how we can ensure and protect our freedom in the absence of privacy. Can-and should-we rally anew to support this institution? Is privacy so important to political liberty after all? DeBrabander makes the case that privacy is a poor foundation for democracy, that it is a relatively new value that has been rarely enjoyed throughout history-but constantly persecuted-and politically and philosophically suspect. The vitality of the public realm, he argues, is far more significant to the health of our democracy, but is equally endangered-and often overlooked-in the digital age.
 

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Contents

Confessional Culture
1
Defending Privacy
21
Big Plans for Big Data
37
The Surveillance Economy
58
Privacy Past and Present
75
The Borderless Vanishing Self
95
Autonomy and Political Freedom
115
Powerful Publics
137
Conclusion Index
157
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Firmin DeBrabander is Professor of Philosophy, Maryland Institute College of Art. He has written commentary pieces for a number of national publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, the Atlantic, LA Times, Salon, Aeon, Chicago Tribune, and The New Republic. Professor DeBrabander is the author of Do Guns Make us Free? (2015), a philosophical and political critique of the guns rights movement.

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