As readers of the InsidePrivacy blog know, we often save some fun reading on privacy issues for the weekend, given the crush of business during the week. Sure, you’re reading the FTC’s just‑released Internet of Things report (and hopefully Shel’s helpful analysis of it), but a little broader reading might be just right for our (somewhat) snowy weekend.
At the top of my list for this weekend is Neil Richards’ new book, Intellectual Privacy: Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age. This book follows up on Neil’s great law review article of the same name, but develops and updates the arguments, examples and use cases. The subject of the work is the conflict between privacy and free expression, one of the most important issues in our area of law and policy. Topics such as the “right to be forgotten” place this issue squarely into today’s headlines. Neil suggests that free speech should win out in the event of a true conflict between the two values, but concludes that true conflicts are exceedingly rare. It is more likely that privacy should be seen as a precondition for the exercise of free speech — without some assurance that privacy rights will be honored, individuals will not speak freely. It’s a great premise with which I agree, and one that I look forward to thinking more about. And if you’re in New York on Monday and can stop by the book launch sponsored by Data & Society, you can ask Neil about it!
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