Techdirt Reading List: Data And Goliath

from the privacy-and-security dept

This is our second week of doing the Techdirt Reading List (don't miss last week's!). Once again, each week, we'll be discussing a book that we think our community might really enjoy. If you click on the Amazon link in this story and buy it that way, you'll also be supporting Techdirt in the process.

This week, the book of choice is famed computer security expert (and meerkat impersonator) Bruce Schneier's latest book, Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.

Beyond having a damn good title, the book is a really fantastic discussion about the ways in which data is being collected and used these days -- sometimes for good reasons, but often with not nearly enough concern for security and privacy. It's not a "never give your data away" screed like some privacy extremists prefer, but rather a much more thoughtful look at the real tradeoffs involved, and suggestions on a way forward. The book notes that we shouldn't look at "surveillance" as being a tradeoff with "security." Instead, we should focus on security first, as that will always protect us more than surveillance. And with that, there should be much greater transparency in how data is used -- for both governments and corporations. With real transparency people can better understand the tradeoffs and have a better understanding of what data they're handing over in exchange for what benefits. For governments, there needs to be much greater oversight (real oversight) and accountability for what they're doing with our data.

There's obviously a lot more in the book, and some people may feel it doesn't go far enough, while others may feel it goes too far. But overall, it's a very thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion on how data is being collected all around us, and we haven't fully come to terms with what's happening and who's in control over that data. So, if you haven't read it yet, go check it out!

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  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 1:53pm

    Since not everyone has the Amazon account necessary to purchase books on that website, I've found a more useful link.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 2:00pm

    N/A

    Bruce is a god of security, and I have had the pleasure of some nice email conversations with him over the years. I only regret that we haven't had the chance to meet in person yet, but hopefully that will be redressed one day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 2:39pm

    These books can't be copyrighted. No one here supports the tyranny and monopoly of copyright.

    Information wants to be free. So where can I get the torrents for free? The price and availability don't suit me. -- Ugh! Give Amazon my CC number and forever link me to Techdirt? Not a chance. -- Besides cut out the middlemen! Why doesn't Schneier take advantage of the internet and direct market? Pay what you want, not give Amazon more than you do him.

    ... There ya go, kids. All your contradictions in one neat bundle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 3:51pm

      Re: These books can't be copyrighted. No one here supports the tyranny and monopoly of copyright.

      Do you ever overwork yourself setting up all those strawmen?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:39pm

      Re: These books can't be copyrighted. No one here supports the tyranny and monopoly of copyright.

      Sounds like you are starting to get it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Socrates, 27 Aug 2015 @ 5:31pm

    Two off topics regarding the PUN

    In my humble opinion, David and Goliath is totally misunderstood! Of course David were able to assassinate Goliath with a ranged weapon! Duh!

    I also suspects Bruce Schneier makes an in-joke regarding the "demon" Google collecting private data in a HHOS manner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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