A former Secretary of Homeland Security examines our outdated laws regarding the protection of personal information, and the pressing need for change.
Nothing undermines our freedom more than losing control of information about ourselves. And yet, as daily events underscore, we are ever more vulnerable to cyber-attack.
In this bracing book, Michael Chertoff makes clear that our laws and policies surrounding the protection of personal information, written for an earlier time, are long overdue for a complete overhaul. On the one hand, the collection of data—more widespread by business than by government, and impossible to stop—should be facilitated as an ultimate protection for society. On the other, standards under which information can be inspected, analyzed, or used must be significantly tightened. In offering his compelling call for action, Chertoff argues that what is at stake is not so much the simple loss of privacy, which is almost impossible to protect, but of individual autonomy—the ability to make personal choices free of manipulation or coercion.
Offering vivid stories over many decades that illuminate the three periods of data gathering we have experienced, Chertoff explains the complex legalities surrounding issues of data collection and dissemination today, and charts a path that balances the needs of government, business, and individuals alike.
“Surveys the brave new world of data collection and analysis…The world of data as illuminated here would have scared George Orwell.”―Kirkus Reviews
“Chertoff has a unique perspective on data security and its implications for citizen rights as he looks at the history of and changes in privacy laws since the founding of the U.S.”—Booklist