YouTube. Facebook. MySpace. Wikipedia. Google. These are among the many new ways people are communicating and obtaining information. In THE FUTURE OF REPUTATION: GOSSIP, RUMOR, AND PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET (Yale University Press, October 2007), Professor Daniel J. Solove warns that this new world demands new thinking about the nature of privacy.
Teeming with chatrooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there's a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives - often of dubious reliability and sometimes totally false - will follow us wherever we go, accessible to friends, strangers, dates, employers, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else who cares to look. This engrossing book, brimming with stories of gossip, slander, and rumor on the Internet, explores the profound implications of the online collision between free speech and privacy.
Solove explores how the Internet is transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet communities, cyber mobs, and other current trends, he shows that, ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom. Longstanding notions of privacy need review: unless we establish a balance among privacy, free speech, and anonymity, we may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.
Daniel J. Solove, THE FUTURE OF REPUTATION: GOSSIP, RUMOR, AND PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET (Yale University Press, 2007).