Putting Privacy in Perspective: Exploring the Evolution and Implications of Privacy in U.S. Society

Michelle G. Hough
Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University, McKeesport, PA, USA

Series: Privacy and Identity Protection
BISAC: POL040000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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“Putting Privacy in Perspective” (PPP) provides a unique evolutionary perspective on the privacy debate by examining how technological advances enabled, and subsequently are eroding, a societal expectation of privacy in contemporary American society. The book is organized around Westin’s four facets of privacy – solitude, intimacy, anonymity, and reserve. In separate chapters, it examines the evolution of each facet from Colonial times through modern day. This work views privacy not as a sacred societal right guaranteed by the founding fathers, but as an accidental by-product of industrialization, dependent upon particular environmental conditions for its survival.

Because privacy is a societal issue, PPP will appeal to a wide audience, including the general public. It will be of particular interest to computer professionals, legal scholars, libertarians, policy makers and any others who have an interest in the privacy debate. PPP forces readers to examine privacy from a generalist perspective. The current privacy debate is fragmented – computer professionals focus on the implications of particular innovations; libertarians debate the boundaries of privacy; business managers ponder the commercial and employment implications of privacy policy; and legal scholars discuss the viability and enforceability of current or proposed legislation. PPP uniquely enables a broader perspective on privacy that facilitates a common understanding of the issue. PPP will be a cover-to-cover read, but not one that is subsequently placed on a shelf and never again referenced. PPP will be the “go to” book to enable debate and research on the evolution of privacy. (Imprint: Novinka )


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Privacy’s Evolution in Three Eras

Chapter 3: Solitude

Chapter 4: Intimacy

Chapter 5: Anonymity

Chapter 6: Reserve

Chapter 7: Projecting Privacy’s Future Path

Chapter 8: Making the Choice


"In Dr. Hough’s book, a compelling case is made that the four kinds of Privacy she describes were not very much present in past societies." READ MORE... - David Brin, Scientist, Best-Selling Author and Tech-Futurist

"Putting Privacy in Perspective offers a quick, readable and provocative survey of how privacy has evolved in this country from colonial times through the Industrial Revolution to the modern age. Its somewhat surprising conclusion is that people in the post-Civil War era enjoyed much more solitude, intimacy, and anonymity than either the founding generation or our current computer-driven era." - Christopher Slobogin, Milton Underwood Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University

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