Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Privacy Fail

This weekend while perusing books at Barnes and Noble in Georgetown I noticed the book The Road to Big Brother. The book is advertised as an
entertaining and highly revealing account of his attempt to dodge Britain's 4.2 million CCTV cameras and other forms of surveillance, Ross Clark lays bare the astonishing amount of personal data which is hoarded by the state and by commercial organizations, and asks whom should we fear most: the government agencies who are spying on us - or the criminals who seem to prosper in the swirling fog of excessive data-collection.
While scanning through the book I noticed an insert from the publisher Encounter books. The insert was an offer to join their mailing list and a request for the readers personal information.

Clearly no one at Encounter Books understands privacy or irony!

1 comment:

A. Fox said...

I love when you see something like that; you almost have to wonder if someone was having an off day. That said, I think it's pretty scary how the general public is so unaware of the privacy harms that are perpetrated every day. Since taking this class, I've come to realize how many different ways the government and the private sector have to keep track of us. In a given day at Georgetown, my go-card tracks everywhere I swipe in, cameras follow me around the campus, and my cell phone can place me within a couple dozen feet. At a college campus, I feel I am more willing to give up some privacy for the security I get in return, but when the same things happen in the 'real world' I feel decidedly uncomfortable.
I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been for Ross Clark to try and avoid detection. Although I haven't read the book, clearly he must have failed because the only way to dodge that much surveillance is to stay in your room under the bedcovers. Scary thoughts.