Who Knows: Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World


208 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-394-22472-8
DDC 323.44'83




Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeff Moon is Head of the Maps, Data, & Government Information Centre (MADGIC), at Queen's University


Who Knows? provides sobering insights into our assumptions about
“privacy” in the technological world in which we live. The book goes
beyond raising questions about our assumptions; it virtually debunks
commonly held beliefs regarding privacy and its significance for both
individuals and society. There is virtually no area of our lives where
personal records are not kept; from our workplace, to our doctor’s
office, to the local grocery store, we are being “coded,
cross-tabulated, and regressed to the mean” (to paraphrase Nigel
Russell’s “White Collar Holler,” as sung by the late Stan Rogers).
In itself, this would not be an overriding concern, but when these
“databases” are sold, mixed, and matched, our privacy is
significantly reduced.

This book deals with these issues, as well as the growing concerns
about security on the Internet, surveillance, legal protection, and data
quality. One chapter is devoted to technologies directed specifically at
protecting privacy (e.g., encryption); another offers useful tips on on
how to protect your privacy. Who Knows? also turns the tables by
exposing the “private lives” of those agencies and individuals who
manipulate our personal information records to invade our privacy. This
book is timely, well written, and worth reading.


Cavoukian, Ann, and Don Tapscott., “Who Knows: Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/2191.