Book details of 'I Love the Internet, but I Want My Privacy, Too!'
|Title||I Love the Internet, but I Want My Privacy, Too!|
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'I Love the Internet, but I Want My Privacy, Too!':
Reviewer amazon.com wrote:
Chris Peterson has created a highly pragmatic guide for all those who want to enjoy the benefits of the Internet but are concerned about maintaining their privacy. Peterson examines the trade-offs, showing how properly shared information can provide you with important services, from enhancing your health care to protecting you from criminal activity. The flip side, however, is that erroneous information can prevent you from finding employment, deny you credit, or even bring you into conflict with law enforcement. Individuals can use Peterson's information to determine how much personal information they are willing to divulge. Peterson also shows how to watch for online scams and how to deal with the possibility of erroneous information. Several times throughout the book she pauses for a "privacy profile exercise," which enables you to discover what information about yourself is already public on the Internet or what information is being exchanged between your computer and others to keep track of your online activities. A special section deals with children online, the risks they face, and what steps you can take to protect them from both commercial and personal predators. She also covers the steps currently being taken by government and the private sector to assure you greater control over private information.
Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
My wife is the office Information Wizard. Not holding a technical
job, she has her finger on the pulse of what goes on and who needs to
know about it. She constantly amazes not only her co-workers, but
also friends and family, by her ability, given only a name, to get
into contact with a person or company within mere minutes. She uses
that secret and arcane source of data known to its initiates only as--
Very funny, you say. Well, I have a serious point to make. Three of
them, actually. The first is that there is a great deal of publicly
available information about you. The second is that most people do
not know how to effectively use such information, and so are easily
startled by someone who does. Did you know that, given your address,
I can find your name and phone number? No, I don't have to use the
Internet. I go to the library and look in the "Criss-Cross"
directory. Which brings me to my third point: the net is not the be-
all and end-all snooping tool.
Chapter one rambles over a variety of topics, seemingly concentrating
on the fact that some people would like information about you, and
that information is available on the Web. Proprietary, and thus not
public, databases are discussed in chapter two. Chapter three talks
about the information you may trail through cyberspace without knowing
it. However, the material has a rather suspect technical background.
Besides getting the number of IP addresses wrong, the text confuses
chat rooms and Usenet newsgroups, and has a description of cookies
that fails at several points. In addition, the "privacy profile"
exercise uses a site that has a function dealt with by another site in
an unrelated domain. No mention is made of the dangers inherent in
this practice. Some stories about information gathering by employers
starts out chapter four, but it moves on to a miscellaneous collection
of instances of personal harassment and other unpleasantness. Medical
information, unrelated to the Internet, is reviewed in chapter five.
Chapters six and seven both look at children on the net. The material
on pornography is definitely overhyped, to the point of decrying the
loss of the Communications Decency Act, but the examination of
commercial abuse of children's trust is rather good. A couple of
drawbacks of blocking software is mentioned, though not the hidden
agendas that some have.
Chapter eight looks at some technologies that assist in maintaining
privacy, such as anonimizing sites and encryption. The explanations
contain a large number of small errors, and ultimately don't do much
ot help non-specialists understand the issues. Some US regulations
regarding privacy are discussed in chapter nine, although most is
unrelated to the net. An Internet extension to the US Social Service
Administration is reviewed in chapter ten. More US work on
regulations is mentioned in chapter eleven.
While the book does discuss a number of issues of privacy related to
the Internet, it does so in a ragged and often disorganized manner.
Much of the content of the book has nothing to do with the Internet,
and some of the material is only just short of hysteria, with little
attempt at balance. Technical discussions are either missing or
incorrect, and this lack of background degrades the value of the book
as a whole. Overall, the level is that of a general magazine article,
and is unlikely to be of significant use to the Internet using public.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999
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