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, neighbours, relatives, and
anyone else who cares to look. This engrossing book, brimming with
amazing examples of gossip, slander, and rumour on the Internet,
explores the profound implications of the online collision between
free speech and privacy. Daniel Solove, an authority on information
privacy law, offers a fascinating account of how the Internet is
transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to
protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet
communities, cybermobs, and other current trends, he shows that,
ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet
may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom.
Long-standing notions of privacy need review, the author contends:
unless we establish a balance between privacy and free speech, we
may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.
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