Data and Goliath Book Summary - Data and Goliath Book explained in key points
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Data and Goliath summary

The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

Brief summary

Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier explains how corporations and governments collect and use our personal information, and offers tools to protect our privacy in the digital age.

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    Data and Goliath
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    Surveillance is more widespread today than at any other point in history.

    In the 1700s, British philosopher Jeremy Bentham developed a novel and important concept: the panopticon, a hypothetical prison where every inmate could be watched at all times. Bentham was interested in the effect that constant surveillance would have on the prisoners' behavior.

    Until recently, Bentham's idea was just that – an idea. Even in a prison, it simply wasn't possible to keep watch over everyone, all the time. But today, digital technology has changed this for good.

    Facial recognition software, for example, allows authorities to use video cameras to digitally identify people. The FBI already has a database of 52 million faces, and they can use it to track persons of interest.

    Meanwhile, authorities in Dubai are using facial recognition software from Google Glass to identify people on the street. And video cameras aren't the only tools of surveillance, either: authorities can also track our actions online.

    A total of 76 exabytes (76 billion billion bytes) of information pass through the internet every year, and the development of cloud technology has made it easier and cheaper to store all this data.

    Every bit of data you generate online can be collected or tracked by someone else. A law student named Max Schrems realized the gravity of this situation in 2011, when he demanded that Facebook disclose all the data they had on him.

    Facebook sent Schrems a 1,200-page document – and it wasn't only information from his profile and newsfeed. Facebook also had a record of every page and photo he'd ever clicked on, and every advertisement he'd ever seen.

    Jeremy Bentham's panopticon is already all around us. We're monitored at all times and all of our actions are recorded and stored indefinitely. Welcome to the global surveillance state.

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    What is Data and Goliath about?

    Data and Goliath (2015) takes an in-depth look at one of the most pressing issues of our time: mass surveillance. It traces the origins of surveillance, explains its various negative impacts and offers advice for organizations and individuals looking to evade it.

    Data and Goliath Review

    Data and Goliath (2015) sheds light on the pervasive surveillance culture we live in and why it matters. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With eye-opening revelations about the scope and scale of data collection, it provides a deep understanding of the privacy implications in the digital age.
    • The book offers insightful analysis on the possible consequences, both positive and negative, of the increasing amount of data being collected and analyzed.
    • Through compelling arguments and real-life examples, it challenges our assumptions about the balance between security and privacy, making the topic undeniably fascinating.

    Who should read Data and Goliath?

    • Anyone hoping to understand more about the politics of data collection
    • Anyone wary of the dangers of surveillance

    About the Author

    Bruce Schneier is a world-renowned security expert and the best-selling author of over 13 books. He's also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and the Chief Technology Officer of Resilient Systems, Inc.

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    Data and Goliath FAQs 

    What is the main message of Data and Goliath?

    Protecting personal privacy and combating surveillance in the digital age.

    How long does it take to read Data and Goliath?

    Reading time varies, but it takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Data and Goliath a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Data and Goliath is a must-read for anyone concerned about the impact of surveillance on personal privacy.

    Who is the author of Data and Goliath?

    Bruce Schneier is the author of Data and Goliath.

    What to read after Data and Goliath?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Data and Goliath, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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