Database Nation
O'Reilly; 1 edition | ISBN: 1565926536 | January 2000 | 319 pages | PDF


Forget the common cold for a moment. Instead, consider the rise of "false data syndrome," a deceptive method of identification

derived from numbers rather than more recognizable human traits. Simson Garfinkel couples this idea with concepts like "data

shadow" and "datasphere" in Database Nation, offering a decidedly unappealing scenario of how we have overlooked privacy

with the advent of advanced technology.
According to Garfinkel, "technology is not privacy neutral." It leaves us with only two choices: 1) allow our personal data to rest

in the public domain or 2) become hermits (no credit cards, no midnight video jaunts--you get the point).

Garfinkel's thoroughly researched and example-rich text explores the history of identification procedures; the computerization of

ID systems; how and where data is collected, tracked, and stored; and the laws that protect privacy. He also explains who

owns, manipulates, ensures the safety of, and manages the vast amount of data that makes up our collective human

infrastructure. The big surprise here? It's not the United States government who controls or manages the majority of this data

but rather faceless corporations who trade your purchasing habits, social security numbers, and other personal information just

like any other hot commodity