The Year in Privacy Books: 2008

Here’s a list of notable books about information privacy published in 2008. Pick up a few to help stimulate the economy, save the publishing business, and learn more about privacy:


Colin J. Bennett, The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance (MIT Press 2008)

A very informative account of those who work in the privacy advocacy community.

Anupam Chander, Lauren Gelman, and Margaret Jane Radin (editors), Securing Privacy in the Internet Age (Stanford University Press 2008)

A great collection of essays, from a symposium at Stanford Law School. A bit dated — the symposium was held in 2003 — but still worth reading. I have a piece in the book discussing data security vulnerabilities and the law — originally penned back in 2003, so I can say “told ya so!”

William Cuddihy, The Fourth Amendment: Origins and Original Meaning 602-1791 (Oxford University Press 2008)

The best and most comprehensive intellectual history of the Fourth Amendment ever written.

Cory Doctorow, Little Brother (Tor Teen 2008)

A contemporary version of Orwell’s 1984 — thought-provoking and engaging fiction, as usual from Doctorow.


Laura Donohue, The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty (Cambridge University Press 2008)

A detailed and compelling history of how 9/11 altered privacy and surveillance in the US and UK.

Sam Gosling, Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (Basic Books 2008)

A fascinating discussion of current psychological research about what the products we buy reveal about us.

Mohammad Hashim Kamali, The Right to Life, Security, Privacy and Ownership in Islam (Islamic Texts Society 2008)

A very interesting exploration of privacy in Islamic law.

Jon Mills, Privacy: The Lost Right (Oxford University Press 2008)

From my blurb on the book jacket: “Privacy: The Lost Right provides a clear, concise, and accessible synthesis of the field of information privacy.”


Lena Cowen Orlin, Locating Privacy in Tudor London (Oxford University Press 2008)

An historical account of privacy in everyday life during the sixteenth century in England.

John Palfrey, Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation (Basic Books 2008)

A deft and accessible account of how the generation growing up today will face increasing challenges to their privacy.

Bruce Schneier, Schneier on Security (Wiley 2008)

This book is a collection of Bruce Schneier’s essays. Schneier is always interesting and wise — and he’s always worth reading.

Wolfgang Sofsky, Privacy: A Manifesto (Princeton University Press 2008)

A. C. Grayling of The Times writes: “Its message, implied throughout, is that as one of the great values of civilisation and one of the essentials of personal and psychological integrity, privacy is worth fighting to regain.”


Daniel J. Solove, Understanding Privacy (Harvard University Press 2008)

D. S. Dunn, in Choice writes: “Legal scholars will want to read this book, but so will psychologists, communication specialists, public policy makers, philosophers, and anyone interested in where to draw the line between public and private life.”

Rob Walker, Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are (Random House 2008)

A compelling account of modern data mining and marketing practices.

Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It (Yale University Press 2008)

A fascinating examination of Web 2.0 and how new technologies can impede freedom and progress.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Orin Kerr says:

    Excellent news that the Cuddihy book is out.

  2. Thomas Otter says:


    Thanks for this list. Thought I had given Amazon enough money this month, but it turns out not.

    What would you say were the 5 most significant journal articles in 2008 on privacy?

  3. JT says:

    It will be interesting how many criminal law review books come out analyzing how the Bush Administration handled the issue of crime over the last eight years.

  4. John Palfrey says:

    Thanks for all these pointers, and especially to the Cuddihy book. I will be sure we get it at the HLS Library, and I’ll be the first to reserve it!


    John Palfrey